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When Their Training Spot Got Turned Into a Vaccination Site, These National Champions Trained in Their School Hallways

The team from the Bronx normally trains at the Armory, which was converted to a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Less than a mile from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx sits Cardinal Hayes High School, an all-boys Catholic school that can now call itself track and field national champions. Earlier this month, the 4x200-meter relay team, anchored by Travis Williams, 18, won a national championship for the event and set a Hayward Field facility high school record of 1:26:36.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Tavon Williams, 18 (no relation to Travis), told Runner’s World. “I was walking around, looking at people run, knowing that Olympians ran on that track [at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June]. My little brother came with me, and it was good to see him watch me medal and run fast.”

The team—coached by Cardinal Hayes alumnus, Craig Joseph—includes Jaavier Jackson, 17, Tavon Williams, 18, Jaden Barrett, 18, Travis Williams, 18, and alternate Kenneth Maxwell, 17.

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The squad was up against the best high school runners in the world, and it wasn’t until the race’s second leg—Tavon—did the team start to smell victory.

“I realized we were going to win when I was seeing how Tavon was able to accelerate, put us into first place, and then maintain that position,” Jackson, who ran the first leg, told Runner’s World. “There were a lot of obstacles, but once I saw my teammates take over and extend, I felt a lot more confident.”

Travis called the moment he crossed the finish line in first place surreal.

“We accomplished a goal at the end of our season, and it was life-changing,” he told Runner’s World. “COVID struck [last year] and we had to make do with what we had. We did our best and came out national champs.”

To say that the COVID-19 pandemic put up roadblocks in every aspect of life would be an understatement. For the Cardinal Hayes track team, the pandemic took away not only the spring 2020 track season but also its winter training facility: the Armory in Washington Heights.

“We normally have access to the Armory twice a week, but this year, it was a vaccination center and it wasn’t available,” Joseph says.

So, the team took to the hallways of the high school.

The workouts varied—30, 60, 200-meter sprints—but were limited by the length of the halls, sharp turns, and slippery surfaces.

“Sometimes we’d get crazy and run 350s [meters],” Travis says. “We’d do anything we could with the little space we’ve got, but it was really hard to run around the curves at our speed.”

Not to mention, the toll running on hallway surfaces can take on the body.

“Being in the hallways four to five days a week was very challenging,” Joseph says. “We had to manage contact time.”

Plus, Maxwell says, sprinting in a hallway doesn’t translate to a track. But there weren’t other options in the northeast winter.

With a national championship under its belt, the Cardinal Hayes track team is already looking ahead to the next season. Three of the five team members—Barrett, Travis, and Maxwell—will attend college this fall. Barrett will play wide receiver at Wagner College on a football scholarship, Travis will run track at the University of Albany, and Maxwell will run track at Fordham University.

That leaves room for up-and-comers to defend the 4x200-meter title.

But Joseph, who’s been coaching at Cardinal Hayes for 17 years, knows nothing is guaranteed.

“Every year I go into the season with my seniors and say, “It’s your turn. The bar was set last year. How high are you going to raise it?’” Joseph told Runner’s World. “Well, this is a pretty high bar. You can’t go any higher. So next year, we’ll come in and set the bar again. The standard has to be to continue to elevate.”

His athletes know this.

“They’re looking at us. Like, we up there now. We’re number one in the nation,” Tavon said. “Hopefully we go back for another one.”

(07/24/2021) Views: 49 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Sha'Carri Richardson set to return in Diamond League Prefontaine Classic

American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson will run the 100 and 200 metres in the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic after completing a one-month ban.

Richardson, 21, was a favourite for the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics but tested positive for cannabis at last month's US Track & Field trials.

She was prevented from running in the 100m at the Games, and USA Track & Field (USATF) later declined to include her in the relay.

Richardson's ban ends on 28 July.

"I'm looking forward to running fast and putting on a show," she said.

Richardson's ban has reignited fierce debate over the use of cannabis in sport, with the White House reportedly seeking a meeting with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to discuss rules regarding the banned substance.

The sprinter explained she had taken it as a way of coping after learning about the death of her biological mother, and US anti-doping authorities said in her case if had been a "substance of abuse" rather than for enhancing performance.

The Prefontaine Classic runs from August 20-21 at Eugene's Hayward Field, kicking off the Diamond League's post-Olympic series of events.

(07/12/2021) Views: 59 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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The Weird and Wonderful Moments From the Olympic Trials That You May Have Missed

Want to run fast? Try wearing a pair of Doritos earrings, just like Christina Clemons.

During the 2021 Olympic Track and Field Trials, held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, we watched as the nation’s best athletes competed for spots to race at the Tokyo Games—the pinnacle for these runners. But we also some wacky, weird, and wonderful moments, reminding us that no matter how fast these athletes can run, they’re still human.

Lewis Johnson goes for a dip in the steeplechase water pit

Before the first round of the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase on Sunday, June 20, NBC broadcaster Lewis Johnson was tasked with explaining exactly what the steeplechase race is. (Runners jump over 35 barriers, seven of which are over a water pit. It also started as a horse race. Read more here!) Not only did he show viewers on TV all around the barriers, he actually took his shoes and socks off and waded into the water pit to show how deep it was. Talk about dedication to his craft.

A short time later, Allyson Felix qualified for her fifth Olympic team, finishing second in the 400 meters—and when Johnson was interviewing her trackside, his shorts appeared to be dry. Did he bring an extra pair of shorts and change? Was it so hot that his shorts dried? I haven’t stopped thinking about this for over a week. — Bette Canter

Christina Clemons makes the Olympic team wearing Doritos earrings

Forget the Wheaties cereal box. Christina Clemons, who made her first Olympic team in the 100-meter hurdles during the opening weekend of the Trials, has her face on a bag of Doritos!

How did this happen? According to The Washington Post, Clemons was looking for new earrings before the meet and purchased a pair of Cool Ranch Doritos bling at a Hot Topic. We’re so thankful that eagle-eyed viewers and on-site photographers spotted the awesome earrings, helping the selection go viral and providing Clemons this unique opportunity. May I suggest for her Olympic run, she get mini earrings of her favorite high-end car? — Brian Dalek

New England Pride in the Women’s 1500

I’m not a “real” New Englander—I’ve lived in Maine for only 18 years, or about 200 years shy of many natives’ standards for sufficient family roots. But from the fan boy angle, close enough. So it was a treat to see Vermonter Elle Purrier St. Pierre and Heather MacLean of Massachusetts finish first and third, respectively, in the women’s 1500 final amid the usual west-of-the-Mississippi-based candidates.

The moment was made sweeter by MacLean nabbing the Olympic standard, her and Purrier St. Pierre’s modest college running achievements, and the fact that they’re New Balance Boston teammates and close friends. Or, as their coach, Mark Coogan, told Runner’s World in his best southern Massachusetts intonation, “A girl from UMass and a girl from UNH are going to the Olympics, in the mile. Top that!” — Scott Douglas

Michelle Obama congratulates Sha’Carri Richardson

After Sha’Carri Richardson dominated the women’s 100-meter final with a winning time of 10.86, her performance and reaction afterwards (she ran into the stands to hug her grandmother right after the victory) went viral. Even former First Lady Michelle Obama took notice and tweeted a message congratulating the national champion. Obama tweeted a video clip of Richardson’s post-race interview in which the sprinter shared that her biological mother passed away before the championship. Richardson also thanked her family, especially her grandmother who witnessed Richardson become an Olympian.

“Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’Carri Richardson,” Richardson told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “My family is my everything, my everything until the day I’m done.”

Richardson responded to the Becoming author’s tweet with a message of her own.

“I am up right now losing my mind!” Richardson wrote at 2:41 a.m. PDT on June 23. — Taylor Dutch

Even the pros sometimes borrow gear from their significant other

She’d sketched out her race plan lap by lap and even traded out her pre-race coffee for caffeinated gum to stay cooler. But there was one minor detail Emily Sisson realized she forgot as she was stepping onto the track to dominate the women’s 10,000 meters Saturday morning: shades. Fortunately, her husband, Shane Quinn, had a pair he was willing to part with.

“I stole them off him as we were walking into the warm-up area,” she said post-race. Those red-and-black frames—which appeared to be from goodr—made her look even more like a boss as she lapped nearly everyone en route to a new meet record and her first Olympic spot. — Cindy Kuzma

Runners warming up ... around a cemetery

Eugene Pioneer Cemetery, on the National Register of Historic Places, is also a destination for U.S. elite distance runners, warming up and cooling down for the races in Hayward Field.

The cemetery, which has a dirt trail around its perimeter that’s roughly 0.6 miles long, saw plenty of use during the Olympic Trials. Before the semifinal round of the women’s 1500, Runner’s World spotted Jenny Simpson, Dani Jones, Amanda Eccleston, Sarah Lancaster and others jogging the loop before heading one block east to the athlete entrance to the track. After the semis of the men’s 800, Bryce Hoppel went over for a cooldown.

The cemetery isn’t affiliated with the University of Oregon, but it’s adjacent to the campus, and many Duck track athletes over the years have used it for their runs. It’s an easy target for, well, gallows humor—as athletes hope warming up their doesn’t signal the death knell of their careers.

(07/10/2021) Views: 55 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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17 Years After His Dad Raced at the Athens Games, Randolph Ross Makes the Olympic Team

It was the best Father’s Day gift the North Carolina A&T program director could have asked for.

At first, Duane Ross was in “coach mode” while he watched his son, Randolph Ross, compete in the 400-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. The track program director of North Carolina A&T was also nervous—knowing that Randolph was competing in his ninth race in 11 days and first national championship at Hayward Field—but he was confident his son would still find a way to qualify for the Tokyo Games on Sunday.

Randolph, running in lane eight, hit the homestretch in fourth place behind Michael Norman, Michael Cherry, and Elija Godwin. But the college sophomore charged the last 100 meters, switching gears to come from behind and pass Godwin for third in 44.74. Norman won in 44.07 and Cherry placed second in 44.35.

At 20 years old, Randolph made his first Olympic team—17 years after his dad finished second in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Trials and represented the U.S. in Athens.

“It wasn’t about me having joy because he’s following in my footsteps; it was literally seeing the joy on his face [because] he’s accomplished something that he’s talked about for a while,” Duane told Runner’s World. “He’s been in track for awhile. He grew up around it, and that smile said it all. That victory lap and that smile just brought me to tears. When he came up and gave me a hug, he said, ‘Happy Father’s Day.’”

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Picking up track, just like his dad

Randolph was born on New Year’s Day 2001, and he’s the oldest son in a family with seven children. “I knew from this kid’s birthday that he was going to be special. 01/01/01,” Duane said.

Right around when Randolph was born, Duane was in the prime of his professional track career. He represented Team USA at four IAAF World Championships, including the 1999 meet in Seville where he earned bronze in the 110-meter hurdles (In 2010, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency disqualified all of Duane’s results in competition since November 2001 because of information uncovered by the BALCO investigation).

When Duane finished ninth in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Games, 3-year-old Randolph was in the stadium in Athens, watching his father race.

“Even when I was competing, he was always with me, always at the track,” Duane said. “We were laughing about that the other day. One of his favorite music groups is The Temptations. [They’re] way before his age, but it’s my favorite group and when he was a child, whenever we were in the car, that’s what we’d listen to. We’ve always been very close.”

Randolph started competing in track and field when he was 5 years old. He also participated in football and basketball, but ultimately decided to focus on track going into his junior year at Garner Magnet High School in Garner, North Carolina.

“Competing in track and field was just different,” Randolph told Runner’s World. “You have a team, but it’s more individual, and I just felt like that’s where I belong more than on the football field or the basketball court.”

At the time, Duane was well into building the program at North Carolina A&T. He offered advice to his son when needed but otherwise left his early development to his high school coaches—and he felt like they left a lot of potential on the table.

“He never lifted weights in high school, never did real interval work. I wanted him to enjoy track and field,” Duane said. “He’s got so much more. People don’t realize he’s just getting started.”

As a senior in 2019, Randolph won the 400-meter title in 46.80 at the North Carolina state meet, and then decided to join his father’s college program at North Carolina A&T. Randolph said he made the decision to focus on track because the sport felt like a calling he wanted to pursue for himself.

“[My dad] didn’t have any pressure on us,” Randolph said. “He wanted us to do our own thing, find our own way, but we ended up following him regardless.”

The sprinter is happy to go in his father’s footsteps with a deeper understanding of the effort and discipline required to compete at the highest level of the sport. When he arrived on campus in Greensboro in the fall of 2019, Randolph joined his father and eventually his younger sister (Jonah Ross just finished her freshman year) on the squad Duane has been leading since 2012.

“Our whole team is basically family,” Randolph said. “We all get treated the same way and we all work just as hard. It’s been a blessing growing with the team.”

Dealing with the pandemic

During the 2020 indoor track season—his first with the Aggies—Randolph ran a world lead in the indoor 400 meters, clocking 45.44 in January. He and the rest of the NCAA qualifiers were in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships in March when the NCAA canceled the championship and the rest of the track season in the early stages of the pandemic. Instead of competing for NCAA titles, Duane had to inform his son that they were going home not knowing when they’d be able to compete or practice together again.

“He was a favorite in the 400 [meters], and he shed a tear when they canceled it,” Duane said. “I mean, that’s tough, and it was tough for me to tell him. … Quite a few [student athletes] shed a tear because they didn’t know what was next.”

To cope with the cancellations and stay-at-home orders, Duane honed in on regular zoom meetings, leaned into his program’s structure and discipline, and emphasized to his team the importance of focusing on themselves instead of outside competition. In September 2020, the squad was able to resume training together. By January 2021, the Aggies were prepared to take on the program’s best season to date.

At the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships in March, the Aggies finished fifth overall in the men’s team competition, highlighted by the program’s first-ever NCAA title in the 4x400-meter relay. The relay squad ran 3:03.16, the fifth-fastest time in NCAA history. The team is also the first from a historically Black college or university (HBCU) to win an NCAA indoor title in the 4x400-meter relay since Morgan State won in 1966, according to North Carolina A&T athletics. In the open 400 meters, Randolph finished second and All-American Trevor Stewart placed seventh.

Coming into the championships as underdogs

Despite the mens team’s top-five finish during the indoor season, North Carolina A&T came into the NCAA Outdoor Championships, held at Hayward Field from June 9 through 12, ranked low among the top teams in the country. The week before the championship, USTFCCCA projected the men at No. 12 and the women No. 13.

“They see the rankings, but they do a good job of just using it as motivation and fuel,” Duane said. “They’ll pay attention to it, and then toss it to the side.”

In the men’s 400-meter final on June 11, Randolph won the NCAA title in 43.85, setting a new world lead in the third-fastest time in collegiate history, while his teammate, Stewart, finished fourth. Later that day, the sprinters contributed to the Aggies’ 4x400-meter relay victory. They also finished third in the 4x100-meter relay.

By the end of the meet, North Carolina A&T had blown up the pre-meet rankings, scoring 35 points for a third-place finish on the men’s side. The women’s team finished fourth overall with 31 points thanks to Cambrea Sturgis’s 100-200-meter sprint double.

‘A moment we’ll never forget’

A week later, Randolph returned to Hayward Field for three rounds of the 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Battling fatigue from the demand of back-to-back championships, Randolph still believed he would make his first Olympic team and even texted his father the morning of the final to share his goal. “I said, ‘Happy Father’s Day. Now let’s go make this team,” Randolph said. “He said, ‘That’s right. Thanks boy, I love you.’”

When he crossed the finish line and qualified for Tokyo, Randolph gave his dad a Father’s Day gift and a legacy that’s been 20 years in the making. Now he aims to win Olympic gold in the 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay with his father in the stands this summer.

“Having the ability to actually follow in my dad’s footsteps all the way—the Olympics is as high as it gets when you go out there to compete for your country, it’s what everybody’s end goal is,” Randolph said. “Being able to share something with him, and basically almost live the same life he did growing up, wanting to work so hard for it, it’s a moment we'll probably never forget.”


(06/27/2021) Views: 693 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Emily Sisson Secures First US Title & Olympic Berth with a 10K Masterpiece

EUGENE, Ore. — The spirit of Molly Huddle lives on. Last week, Huddle announced her withdrawal from the 2020 US Olympic Trials, her 36-year-old body no longer able to generate the speed or smoothness that had carried her to five straight US 10,000-meter titles and an American record. But on a sunny Saturday morning at Hayward Field (82 degrees in Eugene at start), Emily Sisson delivered a run her erstwhile training partner would have been proud of, methodically squeezing the life out of the women’s 10,000-meter field to win in a meet-record of 31:03.82 despite 86-degree temperatures.

Actually, we know Huddle was proud of the effort

A Huddle comparison is selling Sisson short, however. This was dominance at a level we are unaccustomed to seeing at an Olympic Trials, particularly in an event in which 13 women in the field entered with the 31:30 Olympic standard. Only seven Americans (including Sisson) have ever run faster than her 31:03.82 today, achieved in the morning sun and without the aid of pacemakers. Her 12.70-second margin of victory left her almost a full straightaway clear of runner-up Karissa Schweizer.

Sisson had sealed the victory by building a 30-meter lead with three laps to go and would only pick it up from there, going 71.47-71.25-69.26 to close out a 15:14.67 final 5k and 4:44.45 final 1600. Schweizer took second in 31:16.52 to make the Olympic team at a second distance (she also made it in the 5k on Monday), while Alicia Monson gave On Athletics Club another Olympian by taking third in 31:18.55.

The top five women in this race will all be running in Tokyo — the top three in the 10k and fourth- and fifth-placers Elise Cranny and Rachel Schneider in the 5k.

Sisson lapped everyone in the field save for the top seven. The last person she lapped — in the final 100 meters — was none other than 2016 Olympian and 2015 world championship bronze medallist Emily Infeld, who stuck with the lead pack for 6k.

The Race

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsYzi04MOQ4&feature=emb_title

The race had been shifted to a 10 a.m. start to avoid the hot weather (forecast to reach 100 degrees when this race would have originally been run at 6:44 p.m.), though the conditions were still hot and sunny when the gun was fired. Sisson took the lead just before two kilometers, dropping the pace from 78’s and 78’s to consistent 75’s, whittling the pack to 10 by 5k (15:49.15). Sisson would continue tightening the noose all the way home. She dropped the pace to 74’s just after halfway, which was enough to drop former New Mexico teammates and new US citizens Weini Kelati and Ednah Kurgat, as well as 2016 Olympian Infeld by four miles.

By 6800, Schneider, Hall, and 2012 Trials runner-up Natosha Rogers had been dropped as well, leaving a four-woman battle for three spots between Sisson, Cranny, Schweizer and Monson. After running consistent 74’s, Sisson let a 75 slip in for her 18th lap. From there, however, Sisson’s pacing was masterful: each of her final seven laps was faster than the one that preceded it. A 72.58 fifth-to-last lap gave her a 10-meter gap with a mile to go, and with 41 starters, it became hard to keep up with who was where as Sisson had been lapping multiple runners per lap. She would press on to win in dominant fashion, while Schweizer, who trailed Monson by 3.5 seconds at the bell, would use a big last lap (68.81, fastest in the field) to take second, with Monson safe in third, over 16 seconds up on Schweizer.

For the record, Schweizer said she plans on running both the 5k and 10k in Tokyo.

Quick Take: Total masterclass

Sisson has had some great performances in her career (she’s made two Worlds teams at 10k, won two USA road titles, and won two NCAA titles), but she had never had one like this.

Not only did she make her first Olympic team and win her first USATF track title, she put on a wonderful performance. She took the lead after the mile and never gave it up. She started clipping off 75-second laps (5:00/mile) through halfway. That whittled the lead pack down to 10. Then she upped the ante again, lowering the pace to roughly 74s through 8k. That made it a four-woman race for the three Olympic spots. Then she started running 72s or better and it was game over.

Quick Take: Redemption for Sisson, who used the extra year to her advantage

When we spoke to Sisson a month ago, she admitted that had the Trials been held as scheduled in 2020, she likely would not have been in contention to make the team. Her body felt broken after dropping out of the Olympic Marathon Trials on a brutal Atlanta course, and after a stellar 2:23 debut in London in 2019, she struggled to make sense of the result.

“Usually I’m good at moving on from bad races, but I struggled with that one,” Sisson.

It didn’t help that, after COVID postponed the Trials, there was nothing to move on to.

But eventually, Sisson was able to get back on track (she praised her husband, her former Providence College teammate Shane Quinn, for his support) and work back to incredible fitness. In December, she ran 67:26 to miss Huddle’s American record in the half marathon by one second, and she looked strong in her three track 5k’s this spring, running 14:55, 14:53, and 14:59. She had never broken 15 minutes prior to this year. Her plan today was to play to her strength and make it a fast race, as she knew she was in the best shape of her life.

“There were some workouts where I had to ask [my coach Ray Treacy] to repeat my splits, like what did I just run?” Sisson said.

QT: Alicia Monson pushed her body to the brink (and to the hospital) to make her first Olympic team

The newly-formed On Athletics Club (editor’s note: On Sponsored the Road to the Trials on LetsRun.com) got its second 10k Olympian at the Trials as Alicia Monson finished 3rd to make the team, joining teammate Joe Klecker who was 3rd in the men’s 10k on the first night of the Trials.

Coach Dathan Ritzenhein had been very bullish on Monson heading into the Trials, but how would she perform on the biggest stage and in the heat? Superbly well. While Monson was overtaken by Karissa Schweizer on the final lap, she was the last athlete to get broken by Sisson.

However, the effort really took its toll.

After the race, Monson did not look well. She eventually was resting in the shade in the bowels of the stadium, and was brought back out for an interview by NBC’s Lewis Johnson, where Schweizer helped support her. Monson said in the interview, “I have never gone to that point in a race before and I’ve always kind of wanted to. I think today was a good time to do that.”

Monson was able to go to the victory stand and do the award ceremony for the top 3, but the heat was still taking its toll.

Later as first reported by Sarah Lorge Butler, it was revealed that Monson collapsed after the medal ceremony and started vomiting and was taken to the hospital.

Ritzenhein told LetsRun he believes Monson will be okay, adding “she is just the toughest person I’ve ever met.” For anyone who remembers Ritzenhein’s all-out racing style, that is high praise indeed. Ritz even said she’d be available for an interview after she left the hospital. That definitely is a LetsRun.com first.

Quick Take: Sisson & Monson’s all-in bets pay off

When USATF switched the schedule to put the women’s 10k after the women’s 5k, athletes who qualified in both had a choice to make. If you thought your best shot to make the team was in the 10k, would you double — and perhaps wear yourself out with a heat and final in the 5k — or give yourself only one shot to make the team and focus on the 10k?

Both Sisson and Monson (and their coaches) felt their best shot was in the 10k and both decided to skip the 5k entirely. That paid off when both made the team today.

But both Schweizer and Cranny decided to attempt the double, and that decision worked out nicely for them as well, as Schweizer made the team in both events and Cranny was the US champ in the 5k. All four women are first-time Olympians.

Quick Take: Sara Hall’s Olympic dream is denied yet again, but she achieved her career-best Olympic Trials finish in 6th

Some great US runners over the years have failed to make an Olympic team. Chris Solinsky, the #2 US man ever at 5,000 and 10,000, never made an Olympic team, and Sara Hall, the 2nd-fastest US women’s marathoner ever at 2:20:32, may also end up with that label. Hall, 38, finished 6th in today’s race in 31:54.50, which was a career-best finish for her at the Olympic Trials.

Sara Hall at the Olympic Trials

2004 – 11th in 5000

2008 – 9th in 1500

2012 – 8th in steeple

2016 – DNF in marathon, 14th in 5000

2020 – DNF in marathon, 6th in 10,000

“I made all the right moves I needed to, I just didn’t have it. You know, those girls are really strong,” said Hall after the race. “Sisson, I’m really happy for her… I’m so happy she made the team, she’s so deserving… I respect all those women so much… I thought I had a shot at this team but at the same time that’s my highest Olympic Trials finish… I’m thankful I was able to do that today.”

Hall said she was rooting for her fellow marathoner Sisson — the US’s 8th fastest marathoner in history at 2:23:08 — to make the team.

“Emily’s run was so impressive, I didn’t doubt that she could do this… living in Phoenix, I’m pretty sure we’re all gonna wish we were living in Phoenix like she is… I was rooting for her so much because of the disappointment in Atlanta that was similar to mine,” said Hall, who said she’ll be announcing a fall marathon soon.

Saying Hall won’t make the team in 2024 may not be wise. The date for the 2024 marathon trials isn’t set yet, but they might be less than 2.5 years away and Hall is running better than ever. Bernard Lagat made an Olympic team at 41 in 2016. Hall will be 40 when the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials take place. Of course, the difference is Lagat had been on many teams before.

Regardless of whether she makes a team, Hall’s late-career transformation has been incredible. At the 2016 Trials, Hall had pbs of 32:44 for 10k and 2:30:06 for the marathon. Now her pbs are 31:21 and 2:20:32.

Quick Take: Sisson handled the heat like a pro

At the last Trials, Sisson said she was “pretty out of shape and I actually overheated.” She handled the heat with ease today. That may be because she lives in Phoenix, Arizona (although she hasn’t been there since March, spending her buildup in Flagstaff and then Providence).

She wore sunglasses during the race but they weren’t hers. She often runs with glasses in Phoenix but didn’t have any today, so she just borrowed her husband’s pair before the race.

Quick Take: Emily Durgin has a strong run in 9th

The top 8 spots were all filled by people with the Olympic standard of 31:25. The first person without the standard was 9th placer Emily Durgin of Under Armour. No one in today’s race ran a PB, but Durgin came the closest. When her collegiate career at UConn came to an end in 2017, she had pbs of 16:00.93/33:49. Now she’s improved them to 15:24/32:22 and she ran 32:25 for 9th.

(06/27/2021) Views: 75 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Bromell back to his best while Felix and Winkler make history in Eugene

Three years ago, it seemed implausible that Trayvon Bromell and Allyson Felix would represent the United States at a 2020 Olympic Games. Bromell was coping with a debilitating sequence of injuries, and Felix was coming off a difficult childbirth.

Now that it is the 2021 Olympics, they will be running for medals in Tokyo.

Bromell won the 100m in 9.80 (0.8m/s), and Felix made her fifth Olympic team during the USA Olympic Trials on Sunday night (20) in Eugene, Oregon.

The 25-year-old Bromell once thought his end had come. He left the Rio Olympics in a wheelchair after aggravating a heel injury.

He has had two achilles surgeries over the past five years, and in a span of three-and-a-half years ran three races. He was effectively out of athletics. He credited religious faith for turning around his life, on and off the track.

“When I went down in 2016, I realised I didn't know what was going on,” he said. “In 2018, I wondered if I wanted to live anymore. What resource am I not going to for this change?

“My mom told me to try God. Since devoting myself, things have changed.”

In a high-quality final, the top four men finished inside 9.90, and 9.91 – recorded by teenager Micah Williams of host University of Oregon – was only sufficient for fifth place. It was the fastest first five in trials history.

Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley, the latter dropping down from the 400m, claimed the two other Olympic spots, finishing second and third respectively in 9.85 and 9.86. 200m specialist Kenny Bednarek was fourth in 9.89. World 200m champion Noah Lyles started poorly and was seventh in 10.05.

Following this victory and his world-leading 9.77 from earlier this month, Bromell will head to Tokyo as a gold-medal favourite.

“I feel with confidence sometimes comes complacency. And for me, I don't like to get complacent,” he said. “For me, I'm still going to go home and train as if I'm not being talked about at all.”

On a day celebrated as Father’s Day, the top two in the women’s 400m were both mothers.

Quenara Hayes – who became a mother in October 2018 and has this year returned to sub-50-second form – finished first in 49.78, just 0.06 shy of the PB she set when winning the 2017 US title.

Felix closed rapidly to clock 50.02. Third spot was taken in 50.03 by Wadeline Jonathas, who was fourth at the 2019 World Championships. Kendall Ellis clocked 50.10 for fourth place, narrowly missing a team spot by just 0.07.

“When your body is out for eight to nine months, plenty of nights I would cry,” said Felix. “I was trying to rush the process.”

Felix made the team, 17 years removed from winning a 200m silver medal in Athens in 2004. She gave birth to a daughter in 2018, and she was at Hayward Field to see her mother race.

“There has been so much that has gone into this,” Felix said, “and there were many times where I didn't think I would get to this moment.”

She said she was “absolutely sure” she would not try for Paris 2024.

(06/21/2021) Views: 85 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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The U.S. Track and Field Athletes Who Qualified for 2021 Olympics

The team representing the U.S. in Tokyo is a mix of veterans and first-timers.

The U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials are taking place at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, from June 18 through June 27, and the top three finishers in each event will represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Here’s a list of those who have already qualified and have met the Tokyo Olympic Standard.  

Aliphine Tuliamuk — Women’s Marathon

Qualified: First in 2:27:23

Olympic history: This will be Tuliamuk’s first Olympic appearance.

Molly Seidel — Women’s Marathon

Qualified: Second in 2:27:31

Olympic History: This will be Seidel’s first Olympic appearance.

Sally Kipyego — Women’s Marathon

Qualified: Third in 2:28:52

Olympic History: 2012 — Silver medal in the 5,000 meters.

Galen Rupp — Men’s Marathon

Qualified: First in 2:09:20

Olympic history: 2016 — Bronze medal in the marathon, fifth in 10,000 meters; 2012 — silver medal in 10,000 meters, seventh in 5,000 meters; 2008 — 13th in 10,000 meters.

Jake Riley — Men’s Marathon

Qualified: Second in 2:10:02


Olympic history: This will be Riley’s first Olympic appearance.

Abdi Abdirahman — Men’s Marathon

Qualified: Third in 2:10:03


Olympic history: 2012 — DNF in marathon; 2008 — 15th in 10,000 meters; 2004 — 15th in 10,000 meters; 2000 — 10th in 10,000 meters.

(06/19/2021) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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What to Watch For in the U.S.A. Track & Field Olympic Trials

For months, they have trained in relative isolation. They have triple jumped in empty stadiums and chased qualifying standards on high school tracks. You may have heard this before, but the pandemic created challenges for American track and field athletes.

For those who managed to push through the long delay, a meet five years in the making has finally arrived: The U.S. Olympic track and field trials are set to start on Friday afternoon at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, a freshly renovated stadium that — barring something else unforeseen — will also host the world championships next year.

But first come the trials. As athletes from across the country bid to compete at the Tokyo Games this summer, here is a look at what to watch over the coming days:

What’s the schedule?

Glad you asked. It is a long meet — 10 days, with two rest days built in the middle — running from Friday through June 27. There are 40 events in all (20 for the women, 20 for the men), with preliminary rounds for most of them. On Friday, for example, there are preliminary rounds in events ranging from the women’s discus to the men’s 800 meters. There are also two finals scheduled for the first day, in the men’s shot put and the men’s 10,000. On Sunday, eight more champions will be crowned, including in the men’s 100. (More on that later.)

So who gets to go to the Olympics?

The top three finishers in each event qualify, provided they have reached the Olympic standard. If not, they have until July 1 to attain it.

Who are some of the most compelling athletes to watch?

Any list like this has to start with Allyson Felix, the nine-time Olympic medalist who is aiming to compete in her fifth and final Olympic Games. A onetime prodigy who is entered in the 200 and 400 meters, Felix, 35, long ago secured her place as one of the sport’s most revered and respected figures. She has advocated for gender equality since giving birth to her first child in 2018.

Felix’s retirement will leave a void among the American women, and Sha’Carri Richardsonseems prepared to help fill it. In April, she ran the sixth-fastest 100 in history. Richardson, just 21, is unapologetically brash while consistently coming through with fast times and big performances. She is easy to spot, too: Just look for her colorful hair.

In the women’s 1,500 meters, Elle Purrier St. Pierre is the favorite after a string of convincing victories this season. She grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont, where she would train by running to the Quebec border and back. Her sponsors include Cabot Cheese.

Donavan Brazier is the American record-holder and reigning world champion in the men’s 800. He seems determined after failing to qualify for the Olympics in 2016.

And Sam Kendricks, who has won back-to-back world men’s pole vault championships, is the heavy favorite in Oregon. His toughest competition figures to be in Tokyo, where Mondo Duplantis, who grew up in Louisianabut competes for Sweden, will be waiting. Duplantis, 21, already owns the world record but is seeking his first Olympic gold.

How about a few must-see events?

No, we didn’t forget about Noah Lyles, the world champion in the men’s 200 meters. Lyles wants to double in the 100 and 200 meters in Tokyo, and his 100-meter form has been coming along slowly. He will face a loaded 100-meter field in Eugene, Ore., headlined by the likes of Trayvon Bromell, who has run the fastest time in the world this year, and Justin Gatlin, the five-time Olympic medalist who has twice been suspended for doping. Americans have the six fastest 100-meter times in the world this year — and Lyles is not among them.

The field in the men’s 1,500 is also competitive. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic champion, was injured last year and benefited from the postponement. Craig Engels is the 2019 national champion, but he is equally renowned for his mullet. There is also a group of up-and-comers headlined by Cole Hocker, fresh off an N.C.A.A. title at Oregon, and Hobbs Kessler, the fastest high school miler ever.

The most anticipated showdown, though, could materialize in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. At the 2019 world championships, Dalilah Muhammad, 31, had to break her own world record to outrun Sydney McLaughlin, one of the sport’s rising stars. Muhammad, the Olympic champion in Rio, has been working in recent weeks to return to form after injuring her hamstring. McLaughlin, 21, spent much of the spring fine-tuning her speed and technique while competing in the 100-meter hurdles. If both athletes are healthy, their final — held on the final day of the meet — should be a highlight.

Who’s missing?

The trials got a harsh dose of reality this week when Shelby Houlihan, the American record-holder in the women’s 1,500 meters, was suspended from competing for four years after she had tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Houlihan has maintained her innocence, claiming she ate tainted pork from a food truck. For about eight hours Thursday, it seemed that Houlihan might still be able to run while she appealed the ban, but ultimately the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee stepped in and said that she could not participate in the trials.

Speaking of suspensions, that deep field in the men’s 100 meters is missing an important name: Christian Coleman, who won the 2019 world championship under a cloud of suspicion, and was subsequently suspended for missing a series of drug tests.

Also absent will be Christian Taylor, the two-time Olympic champion in the men’s triple jump. Taylor ruptured his Achilles’ tendon at a meet last month and underwent surgery. He has vowed to make a comeback in time for next year’s world championships.

On the bright side, several American runners will not be at the trials — but only because they have already punched their tickets for Tokyo. We are referring, of course, to the marathoners, whose trials were staged all the way back in the prepandemic era, in February 2020. Galen Rupp, Jacob Riley and the seemingly ageless Abdi Abdirahman, 44,qualified for the men, while Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyegomade the women’s team. (Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, is expected to compete in the 10,000 on Friday, though he told OregonLive.com last month that he would treat the race as a rigorous training run and appears to have no intention of running the track event in Tokyo.)

Is it on television?

NBC and NBCSN will provide live daily coverage of the meet. 

(06/18/2021) Views: 59 ⚡AMP
by Scott Cacciola (NY Times)
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We miss the old Hayward Field stadium but the new $270 million stadium is amazing

After much anticipation, the newly renovated Hayward Field finally opened for business this spring, and athletes and track fans alike were in awe at the jaw-dropping $270 million dollar facility. Unless you’ve been fortunate enough to visit the stadium, however, you’ve likely only gotten to see it from the outside. 

The inside of the stadium features a 270m oval track with a 140m straight for sprints. 23 feet below ground is the area known as the Vault where field event athletes can train during the winter months, which includes a pole vault pit, long jump pit, and a netted section for all the throws. To refuel after their workouts, athletes can head to the Waffle Shop (a tribute to the waffles shoe developed by Bill Bowerman), where they can get healthy snacks and meals or rehydrate at the Gatorade machines, and can even attend cooking classes to help them stay healthy when they’re at home.

Another unique aspect of the facility is Razor Bill’s Barbershop, where athletes can get their hair done, or even get their nails, hands and feet taken care of at the manicure/pedicure station. Finally, the state-of-the-art team lounge is a place where athletes can relax and hang out, and features ping pong tables and basketball nets where they can have some fun and unwind.

What many will notice above all else throughout the tour is the artwork featured in every room of the facility, which pays homage to Ducks and to the program’s history. This new stadium is a far cry from the historic Hayward Field the track world came to know and love, but the new facility rivals that major stadiums found in Europe and around the world.

(06/18/2021) Views: 71 ⚡AMP
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One of the Most Gruesome Steeplechase Mishaps Ever? You Decide

Ky Robinson’s face took a beating, but he gets faster every race.

Steeplechase is an event known for its spectacular falls. Combine barriers, a water jump, and tightly packed runners going at high speeds, and you’ve got an environment ripe for catastrophe.

Still, even by the steeple’s high standards, what happened to Ky Robinson, a 19-year-old Stanford freshman, was ghastly.

It was early in the race at the Pac-12 championships at USC on May 15. Robinson’s trailing leg clipped a barrier, and down he went. He rolled. Straight into the path of a Washington runner.

Through no fault of his own, the Washington runner stepped on Robinson’s face with his spikes, dragging a path across Robinson’s left cheek. It could have been worse—the spikes didn’t puncture all the way through the cheek and more important, they missed his eye.

Robinson popped right up. “I didn’t realize how bad it was immediately,” he told Runner’s World. “I felt my face, my lip, I looked down and saw the blood.” He convinced himself that he had just cut his lip.

He managed to finish third in the race in a four-second personal best of 8:41.81. “The adrenaline rush took the pain away,” he said.

After the race ended, he went over to a teammate, D.J. Principe, who had been in a steeple for the first time. Principe just pushed Robinson over toward medical officials on the track.

One of them came to him with a towel, and Robinson, still unaware of how bad his wounds were, tried to brush off the help. The medic grabbed him by the arm and marched him off the track.

Another member of the medical staff on duty at the time happened to be a plastic surgeon. He gave Robinson 27 stitches to close the gashes, the deepest of which goes for several inches across his left cheek.

One of the toughest parts of the night for Robinson was FaceTiming his parents in Brisbane, Australia, to let them know what happened. He wore a mask. “When I was talking to my mum, I was like, ‘I can show you,’ and she said, ‘Don’t you dare take that mask off, I don’t want to see.’”

Robinson, however, never missed a day of training. And he’s only gotten faster in the three weeks since the fall. He set another PR, 8:40.45, at the NCAA West Regional, qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

“I had a little PTSD going over the barriers,” he said. “I found I was stepping on a lot more barriers instead of straight hurdling.” 


But by the time of his semifinal heat of the championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, Robinson had cast most of the doubts from his mind. He won his heat in 8:36.29, another four-second best. (He did run to the outside of lane 1, or in the inside of lane 2, to get a clear look at the barriers, adding distance to his race.)

On June 11, in the final, Robinson finished sixth in 8:32.01, another large personal best. He set a Stanford school record, and broke his own Australian and Oceanian U-20 records. He has cut 13 seconds off his PR since being sliced in the face.

The wounds are still visible—and could be for some time. He’s using a scar cream and it might take as long as a year for the marks to subside.

This much is clear, though: There’s nothing wrong with his legs.

(06/14/2021) Views: 97 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Shaunae Miller-Uibo smashes stadium record in Eugene

World-leading marks achieved at this stage of the season don’t tend to leave too much of an imprint on the world all-time lists, but Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s 49.08 to win the 400m at the USATF Grand Prix in Eugene – the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting of 2021 – broke the stadium record for an iconic venue.

The Bahamian Olympic champion ran a well-timed race. She held a slight lead at half way and still had USA’s Lynna Irby for company on the final bend, but she opened up a clear margin on the rest of the field down the home straight to cross the line in 49.08, the fourth-fastest time of her career.

It also chopped 0.26 from the previous stadium record, set in 2003 by Ana Guevara. Global champions Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson Felix and Tonique Williams-Darling are among the other past winners on the Hayward Field track, so Miller-Uibo will gain a boost in confidence knowing that she has out-performed such legendary athletes at this venue.

“The 400 is my favorite event, so I love coming in and trying to figure it out and having some fun with unravelling the secrets of it,” said the world silver medalist. “We’ve been really working on getting our strength up and now that we are in the middle of the season we are going to work on speed and getting ready to put down some great performances in the 200s.”

Irby finished second in 50.28, holding off Jessica Beard (50.38).

(04/26/2021) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rogers, Brazier and Taylor ready for top-quality test in Eugene

Global medallists Raevyn Rogers, Donavan Brazier and Christian Taylor are preparing for an early-season top-quality test of their form at the USATF Grand Prix – the first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold standard meeting of 2021 – on Saturday (24).

As well as offering the opportunity for some high-class clashes, the event also gives the US trio the chance to compete at Eugene’s recently renovated Hayward Field, which will stage the US Olympic Trials in June and this weekend welcomes athletes for its first professional competition since 2018.

“I am very nervous and excited to compete at the new Hayward,” said Taylor, the four-time world and two-time Olympic triple jump champion. “I had the previous stadium record and had lifelong memories made in front of the grandstands. This is a glorious new beginning but also has that special sense of the unknown.

“This will be a very serious competition for us,” he added, “to have an idea of exactly where we are and what areas we need to focus on moving forward.”

While Taylor has fond memories, world 800m champion Brazier is looking to make up for the disappointment he felt when he last raced at the iconic venue five years ago.

“I’m really excited to race there,” said the 24-year-old, who this time steps up to compete over 1500m. “The last time I raced there I ran pretty bad, I think it was the Olympic Trials in 2016, so I’d like to get the monkey off my back and finally start racing good again in Eugene.

“We’re going to see where we’re at this weekend and that’s part of the reason why we’re doing the 1500m instead of 800m.”

Rogers – star of the track and tower

For Rogers, it's a sense of ‘being home’.

“It is a huge weekend, especially to be running the 800m at Eugene,” said the world 800m silver medallist, who won multiple NCAA titles while racing for the University of Oregon. “I’m just looking forward to kicking it (her 800m season) off and seeing where all of this hard work in practise will lead to.”

Rogers is one of five icons – along with legendary coach Bill Bowerman, Steve Prefontaine, Ashton Eaton and Otis Davis – pictured on the Tower at Hayward Field and on whether there will be any extra pressure to perform, the 24-year-old said: “Just to be able to run the 800m at the ribbon-cutting meet, I did express (to her coach, Pete Julian) ‘you want me to do my first 800m in Eugene at the new stadium?!’ Of course, I was factoring in some of that pressure, but he was very reassuring to understand that the focus is about June and of course later on, God willing, the Olympics.

“It’s more to see where we are and get some races under our belt. That helped a lot to ease some of those outside thoughts in my head in regards to factoring in the pressure of running at the stadium.”

As well as it being the ‘ribbon-cutting’ professional competition at the reimagined Hayward Field – which will host next year’s World Athletics Championships Oregon22 – the event also kicks off this year’s Continental Tour Gold-standard series of meetings. The aim of the Tour is to offer a coherent global series of the best international one-day meetings outside of the Wanda Diamond League.

“I’m excited about the fact that we are getting some World Athletics type of races in,” said Rogers. “I feel like we are still kind of holding on to the slowness of last year, with things not being open, but now people are feeling like vaccinations are a little bit more allowing of us getting outside and being able to do things. And so now that we are able to focus on getting some good competition and more races in, I think it will help get more of that type of competitive experience that we have when it comes to the Olympics, because this is really necessary.

"I feel like as we get into championship season, since it is in almost two months, it’s super necessary and the time window to be able to get those type of races in is very short. So the fact that they are trying to implement this World Athletics Continental Tour will help get those Diamond League type of races and experiences in, instead of just having to have them straight at the Olympics.”

Following the Continental Tour Gold season opener in Eugene, the series will move on to California, Tokyo, Ostrava and Boston in May before meetings in Hengelo, Turku, Bydgoszcz and Szekesfehervar ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

(04/24/2021) Views: 100 ⚡AMP
by Jess Whittington for World Athletics
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World Champs timetable for 2022 season

Athletes will find tackling two events more straightforward with a spectator-friendly schedule that attempts to tick many boxes

Doubling up at the World Championships will be easier next year after the organisers in Oregon released their competition timetable for the 2022 event at Hayward Field.

The 100m and 200m, 200m and 400m, 800m and 1500m, 1500m and 5000m, 5000m and 10,000m will all now be possible without athletes having to contest more than one discipline on any given day. Other possible doubles include long jump and triple jump, plus the 20km and 35km race walks – although the race walks fraternity is unhappy the 50km distance has gone.

The 10-day schedule from July 15-24 finishes four days before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham begin, whereas the European Championships in Munich start on August 15.

Medals will be decided in all evening sessions and some morning sessions too. Hammer throwers and 10,000m runners, for example, will have to start their warm-up early in the day for their finals.

The first day also ends with a 4x400m mixed relay final but there are heats on the same day a few hours earlier.

Another break with tradition will see 1500m finals during the first half of the championships. The blue riband 100m finals, however, are still on the first weekend.

There are no morning sessions from July 19-22, while July 18 looks like a big day for British interest with the climax of the heptathlon, Laura Muir potentially in the women’s 1500m and Dina Asher-Smith opening her 200m campaign. For Katarina Johnson-Thompson, a heptathlon and high jump or long jump double is also possible.

The final individual event of the entire championships will be the decathlon 1500m, which organisers say is in tribute to Oregon’s home-grown Olympic and world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton.

For the first time, the championships will end with the women’s 4x400m, honouring a pledge to greater gender equality that World Athletics made on International Women’s Day last month.

“The design of our world championships timetable is both an art and a science, with a lot of moving parts to fit together,’’ World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

“We’ve strived to create every opportunity for our athletes to shine, in the stadium, on the road and on screens around the world, and we’re looking forward to watching them do that in Oregon, as our flagship event is held in the United States for the first time.

“You won’t want to miss it,” added Coe, who frequently tackled the 800m and 1500m double during his competitive days.

(04/23/2021) Views: 92 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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The lights are back on at Hayward Field, but Cole Hocker steals the spotlight

There weren’t any extra bells or whistles for the grand opening of Hayward Field Friday night, no pageantry or fireworks for the debut of Oregon’s new $200 million facility.

But there was track and field, and after nearly three years of no home meets, that was more than enough.

“This has been a long time coming for us here and our program,” Oregon coach Robert Johnson said after Day 1 of the multi-team Hayward Premiere, the Ducks’ first meet since June of 2018. “It’s been a surreal moment today. … Thankful, blessed, happy. I woke up this morning excited and giddy and couldn’t wait to shoot off the gun.”

Oregon picked up four wins and had several impressive performances, though none stood out more than Cole Hocker’s late surge to win the men’s 1,500-meter Invitational in the first home meet of his Oregon career.

The sophomore from Indiana, who captivated the running community with his national titles in the mile and 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship meet in March, looked sharp as ever Friday, winning in 3 minutes, 38.99 seconds.

“It was definitely different and even though it wasn’t a full stadium, there was something different about the energy especially with other teams being in there and in the mix,” Hocker said. “They definitely put on a good race, too. It was fun.”

It was also close, as Hocker went into the home straight with challengers right on his heels. But one last burst of speed gave him all the separation he’d need to get the win.

“Yeah I’m really happy with (the race),” he said. “I just went in with one goal to win and I executed that. I’m really happy about it because of where we are in training and completely training through this race and not really prepping specifically for this. I’m happy with the result.”

Talem Franco of BYU was second in 3:39.79 and Iowa State’s Festus Lagat was third in 3:39.93. Oregon’s Reed Brown was fifth in 3:40.90.

Cooper Teare was entered in the race but didn’t run. The Oregon senior, who set the collegiate record in the indoor mile in February, did pace the men’s 10,000 Invitational through the first 4K. He’s also entered in the 800 Saturday.

A sparse crowd of family and close Oregon associates were sprinkled throughout the stadium, as were members of all the participating teams.

It wasn’t loud, but for an opening night in the era of COVID-19 restrictions, it was still special.

“The feeling was unreal,” said Oregon senior hammer thrower Austin Tharp, a Sheldon High graduate who has a childhood worth of memories competing at the previous Hayward Field. “Just walking in with all the officials and other competitors, it felt like Hayward Magic was back. I’m from Eugene and my last home meet was the Oregon Twilight in 2018 so it was really nice to have family watching me compete at Hayward again for the first time in a few years.”

Tharp finished third Friday night, throwing a PR 195-feet.

For the trivia books, senior distance runner Jack Yearian was the Ducks’ first winner in the new stadium, as he ran a 40-second PR with a time of 14:1122 in the men’s open 5,000 race.

Tori Sloan was Oregon’s first field event winner, as the junior set a big PR with a mark of 19-5 1/4. Her previous best was 17-11 1/2.

Aneta Konieczek made her long-awaited outdoor debut for the Ducks with a second-place finish in the women’s steeplechase in a PR 9:59.42, making her the third-fastest performer in Oregon history and only the fourth Duck to run under 10 minutes.

“It was amazing to be out there today and have a pretty good opener,” Konieczek said. “I was just really excited, not only because it’s been awhile but also, it’s our track and I’d never raced at Hayward (Field) before. You could hear everyone and even with the smaller crowd, the magic was there.”

Konieczek transferred to Oregon in 2019 from Division II Western State in Colorado where she was a steeplechase all-American with a 10:01.02 PR. During the recently completed indoor season, Konieczek placed seventh in the mile at NCAA championship meet.

New Mexico senior Charlotte Prouse was the winner in a collegiate-leading 9:54.65. The two-time NCAA runner-up took the lead from Konieczek with two laps to go and slowly separated from the Oregon redshirt junior.

“After indoor nationals, there was some down time and I hadn’t really done any hurdle work coming into today but I thought everything felt pretty good," Konieczek said. "I didn’t really know what to expect especially in my first (steeplechase) race in three year but it helped to have Charlotte Prouse in the race so we could work together.”

Oregon’s Matt Wisner, a senior transfer from Duke, set a six-second PR of 3:42.95 in his victory in the men’s open 1,500.

Carmela Cardama Baez, the 2019 NCAA outdoor runner-up, finished third in women’s 10,000 Invitational in 32:57.01, nearly topping her PR of 32:55.50. Boise State’s Clare O’Brien won in 32:43.70, and Weber State’s Lexie Thompson was second in 32:49.62.

Oregon State’s Lindsay McShane and Sydney Guthrie-Baker went 1-2 in the women’s hammer. McShane won with a throw of 208-03 and Guthrie-Baker threw 195-07.

(04/04/2021) Views: 126 ⚡AMP
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Hayward Field’s Grand Reopening, And a Ton of NCAA Stars Racing

When the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field reopened on Friday with the Hayward Premiere meet, 1,028 days will had passed since it last hosted a track meet.

Back then, on June 9, 2018, the marathon world record was 2:02:57, the Nike Oregon Project still existed, Donald Trump had zero impeachments, and we were still 18 months away from learning the word “coronavirus.” It has been a minute.

With an estimated cost of $270 million, “new” Hayward is easily the most expensive track & field-specific facility ever built in the United States and immediately becomes the center of the American track & field universe: over the next 16 months, the stadium will host two NCAA championships, the US Olympic Trials, and the 2022 World Championships. Based on everything we’ve seen, it should be a fitting home (if you haven’t already, check out the Hayward Field website, which has tons of info and cool photos of the rebuild).

On Friday, track is finally back in Eugene. And it should be quite a meet. Some of the country’s top distance programs — BYU, Arkansas, Iowa State — are sending athletes to compete at the Hayward Premiere, and of course the host Ducks will be racing some stars of their own. Between Oregon’s Cole Hocker, BYU’s Courtney Wayment and Conner Mantz, and Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo and Edwin Kurgat, no less than five NCAA individual champions will get to test out the new track.

The Hayward Premiere is the first of four regular-season home meets at Hayward in 2021, followed by the West Coast Classic (April 17), Oregon Relays (April 23-24), and Oregon Twilight (May 7) before the stadium hosts NCAAs (June 9-12), the Olympic Trials (June 18-27), and Prefontaine Classic (August 21).

Meet details and preview below.

How does the new stadium look? And is it fast?To say we at LetsRun.com are excited about the new Hayward Field is an understatement. There was no better place in America to watch a track meet than the old stadium, and while we are firm believers that not every single big meet should be in Eugene, it was distinctly weird not having any meets there the past two years. The new stadium may lack the character of “historic” Hayward Field, but from the wooden roof beams to the Bowerman Tower, it already sports an iconic look. After sitting empty for months — outside of UO practices — it will be great to see Hayward Field doing what it was built for: hosting meets.

And the good news is that some fans and media will be there in person. Under Oregon’s current athletics guidelines, a limited number of family and guests of coaches and athletes are allowed at the meet. Obviously, it would have been nice to open up the new Hayward with a full house, but this is better than totally empty stands. And the fact that Oregon got permission from the state and county to host four regular-season meets with spectators is a step in the right direction toward an Olympic Trials with fans (how many will be allowed in June remains to be seen).

As for the second question — is the new track fast? — we assume the answer has to be yes if they spent $200+ million on it and we imagine we’ll find out this soon. While this will be the outdoor opener for the athletes, the story of Covid-19 and the super spike ear is that no one seems to wait to run fast anymore. People want to get fast marks up ASAP in case of a Covid-19 delay.

The weather looks decent (high of 61 in Eugene on Friday, 64 on Saturday, and no rain) and the fields are full of quality so it will be interesting to see what type of marks are put up.

And will the infamous headwind still blow on the backstraight?

(04/03/2021) Views: 107 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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University of Oregon seniors facing virtual graduation frustrated by Olympic Trials, track plans

When the University of Oregon announced in early February it will have a virtual commencement ceremony for the second year in a row, the university was met with frustration from some students — not because they wanted to shirk COVID-19 guidelines, but because they believed it was a double standard.

UO's virtual commencement ceremony is scheduled for June 12. A week later, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field will be held at Hayward Field on UO's campus.

UO also announced this week it will host five collegiate track and field meets at Hayward, starting the weekend of April 2 and ending with the NCAA Championships June 9-12, the same week as graduation.

The university is not involved with the planning or organization of the Olympic trials. The trials are run by TrackTown USA, an outside party that contracts with UO for the use of Hayward Field.

Spectators are not welcome at the first NCAA meet, UO said.

While the university is unwavering on a virtual commencement, it is looking at adding some form of in-person activity for graduation.

For some students, though, it's not enough.

"I just want the (Olympic) trials and graduation to be held at the same standard — so either they both happen or they both don't," said Morgan Leone, a 22-year-old UO senior graduating in June. "And if they both don't, it's unfortunate they couldn't make it happen. (People) worked really hard for both of them, but I would love to see them both happen regardless."

Spring sports moving forward

The Olympic trials for track and field has been held at Hayward Field six times since 1972, though the first year only included men's events. The 2020 trials will be the seventh.

They are organized locally by TrackTown USA, a Eugene-based nonprofit organization that runs other large-scale track and field events. TrackTown has contracted with UO to rent space on campus for these events before, and this year is no exception.

The 2020 Olympics, which were postponed globally because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled to be held July 23 through Aug. 8 in Tokyo.

Although TrackTown consistently had to adjust plans for the trials, working with public health officials and the UO to adapt to changing policies, said CEO Michael Reilly, the organization still plans to host it in June.

"We are full-steam ahead in planning to host the Olympic trials in June," Reilly said. "We are remaining hopeful that the event is going to continue to be able to be held, and, the conditions here in Oregon and around the country continue to improve. But, if anything, we've learned over the last year we have to take things week by week."

UO sports such as softball, soccer and track and field are underway this spring. The NCAA has been regularly testing athletes for COVID-19 this year.

The Oregon track and field team will host five meets at the new Hayward Field this spring, which will "only be hosting guests of student-athletes and coaches as the meet schedule begins," and no spectators, Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens said.

More in-person activities will be allowed as guidelines change, potentially meaning spectators at events.

State guidelines vary standards

Lane County's risk level set by Oregon Health Authority has been dropping for several weeks. As the vaccination rate increased, the number of new cases has decreased significantly and as of Friday, the county was put in the "lower risk" category, which is the lowest category a county can be in.

"Even with Lane County moving into a lower risk category, the university’s educational and research activities are still restricted by the governor’s orders for higher education issued last June," UO spokesperson Molly Blancett told The Register-Guard in an email.

The governor's executive order notes that for research, residential and instructional activities, universities should follow what is directed from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. It also states other activities on campus, such as athletics, need to comply with other executive orders and OHA guidance specific to the risk level of the county.

In the lower risk category, indoor classroom instruction cannot exceed 50 people, and outdoor classroom instruction 300 people, the HECC states. Outdoor recreation, including college athletics events, are allowed a maximum of 50% occupancy, according to OHA guidelines.

"These restrictions (for UO) are independent from activities organized by outside parties that have contracted to use UO facilities," Blancett said.

TrackTown's operating plans not set yet

However, TrackTown always has to comply with the policies laid out by UO on the use of the space, Reilly said, as part of the contractual agreement.

UO also will be paid by TrackTown for space used, as part of that contract. The exact dollar amount is still unclear, Reilly said, but will likely be set in the coming weeks as they come to better understand the amount of space the organization will rent from UO.

Lane County Public Health also is involved in Olympic trials planning and has been for past trials, Reilly said. When the time comes, TrackTown will present its plan to OHA.

"We fully expect a good rigorous analysis from them. We'll try to do our best to answer their questions that may evolve at that point, a need for us to adapt and change the operating plans that we're proposing," Reilly said.

"I imagine it's going to be an ongoing back-and-forth discussion with them in the coming weeks to try to arrive at a set of operating plans that they feel comfortable about," he said. "That will enable us to not only conduct a safe event for the participants there, but also do a good job of protecting the broader community."

UO entertaining in-person grad activities

The Olympic trials being contracted out to a third party doesn't change students' call for UO to seek alternatives for graduation.

"That really frustrated me in the sense that they're kind of hiding behind TrackTown," Leone said about UO. "I feel like they've been using that as an excuse.

"In a way like I feel like we signed a contract with the school, and we all paid our way through the university whether we liked it or not," she said.

"And it's frustrating to see that (UO) will be getting a paycheck out (from) TrackTown, and it seems very correlated to why they also want to keep pushing it to go on. I feel like the university tends to forget that we are also paying students and paid a lot of money to go here."

Leone is one of 1,600-plus people who have signed an online petition for UO to reconsider the decision to hold a virtual commencement and include more student input on alternatives.

The petition points out changes such as increased access to vaccines in Lane County, along with the track and field plans as reasons to reconsider.

UO announced there may be some opportunity for in-person activities at commencement, though the actual commencement ceremony will still be virtual. However, it's still unclear what these activities could be.

In a typical year, each school and college at UO (the business school, college of arts and sciences, etc.) has its own smaller commencement ceremony. This is where students actually have their names read and walk across stage to receive their degrees. Then there is a separate, university-wide commencement ceremony with speeches from UO President Michael Schill and other guests.

When asked whether these smaller school-specific ceremonies still were being considered, Blancett said UO is "actively exploring how it might add an in-person activity to complement planned virtual commencement ceremonies," but had nothing more to share at this time.

Students suggest safe alternatives

Leone set up a template email that students could fill out and send to UO leaders suggesting a way of doing in-person commencements. The program she uses shows about 200 people have used the template.

"It's basically suggesting doing many different ceremonies throughout the day at many different locations, without families, so Hayward, also at Autzen field, the EMU lawn," she said. "Everything I wrote followed the extreme risk guidelines, so it'd be 25 people outside all socially distanced ... it would be very strict, but at least families could tune in and watch."

With about 30 minutes per ceremony, following the most stringent guidelines the state has set, Leone said she calculated it would take a couple of days to get through everyone including the 2021 graduates, but it would be possible.

"I don't want anyone to think I'm disregarding COVID or trying to push for unsafe COVID activities," Leone said. "I just figured there are other universities working really hard to try and make something else safe. (UO) can absolutely do that for the seniors."

In the statement, UO's Blancett said UO is "eager to recognize students’ successes and achievements in meaningful ways."

"The health and safety of our community is a top priority, as is the ability to remain flexible while adhering to a rapidly changing guideline that may become more or less stringent over time," she said. "The safety of our campus community remains a top priority and a guiding principle as we navigate moving operations in and out of different risk levels."

(03/28/2021) Views: 122 ⚡AMP
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HAYWARD FIELD TO HOST USATF GRAND PRIX AT OREGON RELAYS AS PART OF 2021 JOURNEY TO GOLD - TOKYO OUTDOOR SERIES

USATF is pleased to announce that the USATF Grand Prix at the Oregon Relays will be held April 24, 2021 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. The meet, part of USATF Journey to Gold - Tokyo Outdoor Track & Field Series, is a World Athletics gold label designation. The USATF Grand Prix at Oregon Relays is the first time professional athletes will compete at the newly renovated Hayward Field, which is the site for the 2022 World Athletics Championship. Events to be contested are as follows (subject to change):

Men’s events: 100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m Steeplechase, 5000m, Long jump, Triple jump, Hammer throw, Javelin throw

Women’s events: 100m, 400m, 100m Hurdles, 800m, 1500m, 3000m Steeplechase, 5000m, Triple jump, High jump, Shot put

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all meets are pending USATF, local and state health protocols and are subject to change.

(03/28/2021) Views: 150 ⚡AMP
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Eugene Marathon Is Offering Medals Made of Wood

Organizers of the Eugene Marathon, which typically finishes at Hayward Field, were able to procure some of the old steps from the east grandstand, and those steps are being refashioned into race medals for this year’s virtual marathon and half marathon, scheduled for April 23 through 25. Next year’s event medals will feature the old Hayward wood as well.

Race director Ian Dobson told Runner’s World the organization submitted a proposal to the University of Oregon in order to get his hands on the antique steps. When approved, he then filled his truck and moved the wood to the race’s storage facility. Dobson also had them tested to make sure they didn’t contain any lead paint. (They didn’t.)

In the past, the race medals had come from overseas, which is the industry standard. For this, the race’s staff selected a local designer for processing and fabricating. “For the whole project, we were able to keep everything local,” Dobson said.

The medals are being made from the interior wood of the grandstand; they might look new, because that section of wood was unweathered by nearly a century of rain, wind, and snow. To maintain a connection to their historic past, the medals will be cut in the same proportion as the former Hayward Field steps.

Additionally, the unusual medals are driving participation for this year’s race, which will be virtual—for the second year in a row—in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dobson said fewer than 100 spots remain for the marathon ($75) and about 500 spots remain for the half marathon ($60).

Race packets—including shirts, numbers, and medals—will go out before the race to everyone who signs up. So technically, there’s nothing stopping memorabilia collectors from registering in order to get the medal, even if they have no intention of doing the race.

Dobson’s not worried, though. “We trust the running community,” he said.

(03/23/2021) Views: 215 ⚡AMP
by Runner´s World
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Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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Will There Be Fans at the Hayward Field Olympic Trials? After 2020, holding the event at all will be a victory in itself

Compared to other pandemic-inspired dystopias, the rise of the avatar sports fan wasn’t horrible, so much as mildly depressing. The NBA’s Disneyland bubble (and recent All-Star game) had “virtual bleachers” where viewers could glimpse their spectral selves on screen. Then there was the strange analog equivalent where people paid $100 for the privilege of attending the Super Bowl as a cardboard cutout. In an era of increasing atomization, these images felt like a vision of a nightmare future where yet another in-person communal experience had been phased out. Last March, when asked about the prospect of competing in an empty arena, LeBron James’s initial response was, essentially, forget it. “If I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing,” he said.

For track and field athletes, on the other hand, one could make the obvious joke that competing without spectators—as many runners did last year—would be business as usual. But even as having vacant seats at major championships remains a recurring issue for the sport, there are still places where, in pre-pandemic times, one could reliably find an infectious mass enthusiasm for watching fit people chase each other around the oval. In the United States, the most obvious example is, of course, Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, which is slated to host its fourth consecutive Olympic Trials in June. The venue’s combination of historical significance and high-energy fan base have always given it a special aura, colloquially referred to as the “Hayward Magic.” Even for those who don’t buy into the idea that occult forces might be wafting through the air of the Pacific Northwest, the quadrennial spectacle of the Trials at Hayward has delivered some big-time moments—starting in 1972 when Steve Prefontaine broke the American record in the 5,000-meters to punch his ticket to his first, and only, Olympic Games.

“This is a very special place for people who are really passionate about running,” says Eugene resident and two-time Olympic Trials champion Nick Symmonds. At the 2008 Trials, Symmonds was the first finisher in the famous “Oregon sweep” of the men’s 800-meters, where all podium spots were claimed by Eugene-based runners—to the roaring delight of the home crowd. While some have argued that it would be “better for the sport,” if U.S. track and field were less Oregon-centric, there’s no question that Hayward’s reputation for track fanaticism is justified. “At Hayward, you can have 10,000 people watching an early-season college dual meet,” Symmonds told me. According to a 2018 survey by the University of Oregon Foundation, the average attendance for weekday and weekend track meets at Hayward over the previous five years was 6,146 and 6,259 spectators, respectively. Those are impressive numbers for U.S. track and field. Symmonds told me that, as a professional, he had raced in national championships at other big venues across the country, like Des Moines and Sacramento, and likened the experience to competing in a “ghost town.” As he put it, “There was no one in the stands there to watch other than mom and dad.”

Unfortunately, the lingering reality of the pandemic might mean that even the Hayward Field Olympic Trials are destined for ghost town status. With fewer than 100 days to go (the Trials are scheduled to take place June 18th through 27th), it’s still uncertain whether spectators will be allowed to attend. COVID infection rates might be dropping as vaccines become more widely available, but the likelihood of packed stands by early summer seems remote.

“We are certainly hopeful that we will have fans at the Olympic Trials, but we are far from certain that that is going to be the case,” Michael Reilly, the CEO of TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee for the Trials, told me. Reilly generously pointed out that infection rates in Oregon had been “increasingly good.” Although the state is not yet allowing spectators at sporting events, Reilly said that his team was working with co-organizers like the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Track and Field to apply for an exemption to submit to the governor’s office.

For now, the idea is to plan for a scenario in which fans will be allowed to attend with appropriate safety measures—testing, masks, social distancing, etc. (Reilly told me that it was still too soon to say whether the vaccine could play a role in any safety protocols.) “We are building operating plans that anticipate that spectators will be at the Trials,” Reilly told me. “If, for whatever reason, we can’t have fans, we will be prepared to go either way. Fortunately, many of the operations of the event, as it relates to conducting a track and field competition, really don’t depend on whether there are spectators.”

In a tantalizing irony, Hayward last year completed an extensive renovation that more than doubled its max seating capacity to 25,000. (The permanent seating capacity for the new facility is listed at 12,650, but it can be expanded to accommodate larger crowds.) The project, which is estimated to have cost around $270 million, transformed a relatively quaint facility into an opulent mega-stadium that includes a ten-story tower, a “hydrotherapy room,” and an on-site barbershop.

So far, the only athletes who have gotten to experience this architectural epiphany are members of the University of Oregon’s track and field team, leading Eugene’s Register Guard to posit that Hayward 2.0 is currently “little more than the most spectacular collegiate training facility in the nation.” As the paper reports, the university is hoping to host outdoor track meets later in the spring, culminating in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which are scheduled to take place the weekend before the Trials.

Should both of these events end up happening without any spectators there’s still the silver lining that, hey, at least they weren’t canceled. And while it might be tempting to assume that all athletes prefer to race in front of a packed house, that, of course, isn’t necessarily the case. Molly Huddle, who won the women’s 5,000 and 10,000-meters at the 2016 Trials and will be looking to make her third Olympic team this June, told me that the first time she competed at a Hayward Trials in 2008, she was so stimulated by the crowd energy that she ended up running poorly. She says she had to consciously “de-sensitize” at subsequent Trials in order to run well enough to make the team. “It will probably not feel like Hayward, because of the new stadium and because there are no knowledgeable, dedicated fans there like there always are,” Huddle says about the prospect of competing at a spectator-less Trials. “Usually, I just try and pretend it’s just a mid-season meet to take the pressure off. So it will be easier to do that.”

Meanwhile, the organizing committee for the Tokyo Games has yet to decide on whether overseas fans will be allowed to attend. (According to a press release from the International Olympic Committee, a decision is expected in the coming weeks.) To be honest, it’s hard to imagine that there will actually be a ban on international visitors—not least because the Japanese government and the city of Tokyo reportedly spent more than $1.25 billion on the new Japan National Stadium—but, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to never say never.

(03/21/2021) Views: 190 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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USATF flips order of 5k/10ks at Olympic Trials. Why did they do this and who is it benefitting?

USA Track & Field (USATF), the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and the TrackTown USA Local Organizing Committee announced the release of the updated competition schedule for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track and Field, that will take place June 18-27, 2021, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

The updated schedule, in its entirety below, slightly differs from the schedule announced in 2020 with date changes for the men’s and women’s 5000m and men’s and women’s 10,000m.

Men’s shot put qualifying at noon local time on Friday, June 18 is the first official U.S. Olympic Trials – Track and Field event at the new, state-of-the art Hayward Field. The final is later that evening, as well as qualifying for women’s discus, women’s high jump and triple jump, the women’s 1500m, along with the men’s 10,000m final to close out the first day.

The men’s decathlon bursts from the blocks on June 19, along with finals in the women’s discus and 100m rounding out the evening.

The opening weekend awaits the winner of the men’s decathlon, along with finals in the men’s and women’s 400m, the women’s 100m hurdles, men’s 100m final and field event finals in the women’s high jump and triple jump.

The events on Friday, June 25, bring qualifying in the men’s 200m and women’s 800m and the men’s discus throw and 3000m Steeplechase final.

On the final day, June 27, the women’s heptathlon champion is set to be crowned, along with a slew of other finals including the men's 200m and women’s 400m hurdles.

Tickets for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials are currently in a holding pattern due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 landscape. The local organizing committee, TrackTown USA, is working diligently with public health officials on plans for the event, and updates on ticketing will be announced as soon as possible. Changing ticket orders or purchasing tickets are not possible at this time. Ticket holders with questions may contact the local organizing committee directly at info@gotracktownusa.com.

The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field will be broadcast on NBC and its local affiliates. Broadcast information to be released at a later date. For the full competition schedule and athlete information, see the event page here.

Here are the changes.

Women's 10k initially scheduled for day 1 moves to day 9.

Women's 5k initially scheduled for days 7 and 10 moves to 1 and 3.

Men's 10k initially scheduled for day 7 moves to day 1.

Men's 5000 initially scheduled for days 1 and 4 moves to days 7and 10.

(02/28/2021) Views: 248 ⚡AMP
by USATF
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The new and improved Hayward Field sits ready for the Olympic Trials, whenever that comes

There was a lot of hope that the new Hayward Field would be a major attraction before the pandemic hit, and it finally looks like events will return in some form or another.

The 2021 Olympic games are scheduled to start in Tokyo on July 23rd.

We spoke to an athlete training for her shot at an Olympic medal to see how uncertainty is playing a role in everything.

Raevyn Rogers, an 8 time all-American, 6-time national champion, and the recipient of the prestigious Bowerman Award with the Oregon Ducks is training for her return to Track Town USA for the 2021 Olympic Trials. After the 2020 summer Olympics were postponed last March, she had to refocus.

"I expected it, so it was kind of hard to be sad," Rogers said. "It was just one of those things that were like "ok so what is the plan now?"

The Olympics are scheduled to take place in Tokyo from July 23rd to August 8th. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently released their first resource playbook for a safe and successful event. One line reading...

"...limiting the number of time athletes and support staff stay in the village, restrictions on socializing outside the village, their movement between official games venues, and a COVID-19 screening system that will see athletes and support staff screened during the games."

But before the Olympics, Hayward Field will hold the 2021 Olympic Trials- slated for mid-June. After running for the Ducks in college, Rogers feels a bit of a "home-court advantage."

"performing in front of the home crowd, I always want to do my best and perform my best," she said. "That's just the kind of pride that I want to carry when it comes to just how much I associate and really care for the University of Oregon."

The atmosphere at Hayward is electric, but due to the pandemic, runners in Olympic trials could be at a loss without a crowd.

"It's not just the noise, but more so the energy," Rogers said. "With the tradition of coming of the Bowerman Curve, there's so much tradition and so much energy that these passionate track fans give."

After running on tracks internationally, Rogers says Hayward has potential as an Olympic venue.

"We've got to get the parking and the hotels a little more situated but the track alone and the facility alone is just Olympic standard."

Rogers was also recognized by her alma mater, as they used her photo on the new Bowerman Tower at Hayward. Photos of Steve Prefontaine, Ashton Eaton, and Bill Bowerman are also on the tower.

A major event people were looking forward to this year was the IAAF 2021 Track and Field World Championships, but because of the pandemic, that will happen in 2022.

(02/20/2021) Views: 180 ⚡AMP
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2021 Eugene Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

After careful consideration, the 2021 Eugene Marathon will shift to a fully virtual event in late April of 2021. 

Over the fall and winter, the Eugene Marathon staff worked with partners at Lane County Public Health, the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon and PeaceHealth to plan for a COVID-modified, in-person event; but due to the current state of the pandemic and the projected timing of the vaccine roll out, it has become clear that putting on a safe, in-person event in April is not possible. 

“When we opened registration in the fall, we were hopeful that 2021 would be our year to return to in-person races and to our roots at Hayward Field,” Race Director Ian Dobson said. “But as we have gone through the planning process, it has become clear that our community partners and the medical support staff we rely on will still be very busy serving our community in a significant way by providing treatment and vaccinations.”

“We also acknowledge the impact that our event could have on COVID transmissions,” Dobson added. “The fact that we attract participants from all 50 states and around the globe is something we are extremely proud of, but right now it would clearly be irresponsible for us to put our community at risk by hosting an event with that sort of reach."

The Eugene Marathon, which takes place annually on the final weekend of April, consists of a Marathon, Half Marathon, Eugene 5K, Kid’s Duck Dash, and Health & Wellness Expo. All events, including a live-streaming Finish Festival will now take place virtually. A final schedule will be announced in March. All 2021 registrants have been notified by email and will be provided a week to defer their entry for free to 2022 or to stay in the virtual event.

“Life has changed significantly since we became the healthcare sponsor for Eugene Marathon in 2019. Through the challenges of the last year, it became apparent how socially conscious Eugene Marathon is as an organization. And this decision truly highlights their commitment to doing what’s right for our communities,” said Todd Salnas, chief operating officer, PeaceHealth Oregon. “We are proud to support this year’s virtual event and associated activities and look forward to the possibility of celebrating together in person at Hayward Field in 2022.”

“We are looking at innovative ways to approach the virtual race experience and make it as fun and interactive as possible,” Dobson said. “There will be multiple days of activities available throughout race weekend. “

 

(02/04/2021) Views: 253 ⚡AMP
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Eugene Marathon

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Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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Diamond League meets were postponed due to the pandemic and all 14 meets are set to return in 2021

The 2021 Diamond League program is officially set, and all 14 meets are scheduled to return after many were forced toward cancellation this year due to COVID-19. The season will kick off on May 23 in Rabat, Morocco, and it will continue in full force until September 8 and 9 at the Diamond League Final in Zurich.

While it will be exciting to see any and all events next year after so few meets in 2020, one that many track fans will be looking forward to will be the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., which will be the first major international meet held at the University of Oregon’s newly renovated Hayward Field. 

2021 event programs 

After cutting the 200m and any event longer than 3,000m from many 2020 Diamond League events (including the final), World Athletics recently announced they will be reversing this decision in 2021. There are now 32 disciplines (16 for men and 16 for women) that will be held at the various Diamond League events.

As it stands now, there will be either 3,000m or 5,000m races (which are counted on the Diamond League schedule as one discipline) at all but two Diamond League events next year. Only the Stockholm and Monaco will not feature these longer runs.

As for the 3,000m steeplechase, the Oslo, London and Lausanne meets are the only three that will not include this event. The 200m will be held at every meet other than the two separate events in China. The two-day Diamond League Final in Zurich will see all 32 disciplines contested. 

Hayward field was prepared for competition this year, but events were, of course, unable to run as planned due to the pandemic. Everything is ready to go for 2021, though, and there are two meets scheduled to be held at Hayward before the Prefontaine Classic: the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Both of these meets are set for June, and while they’re certainly major events, they don’t compare to the Pre Classic, which will attract top athletes from all over the world. The Pre is a one-day affair slated for August 21, and it will feature a number of exciting events. For running fans, the main competitions to look forward to at Hayward will be the men’s and women’s 100m and 200m races and the men’s and women’s 1,500m.

(12/15/2020) Views: 170 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Registrations is now open for the 2021 Eugene Marathon which will finish at the new Hayward Field Stadium

2921 registration is now open for the Eugene Marathon! Mark your calendars for April 23-25, 2021 and mark your finish line for Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. That’s right, in 2021 – if all goes as planned – you will get the opportunity to once again Run in the Footsteps of Legends and cross the finish line at the newly renovated and always iconic Hayward Field. 

 Since the moment we canceled the 2020 race due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have dedicated our time and effort to looking forward to 2021 and doing all that we can to make it the finest and safest Eugene Marathon yet. Our team is working with our partners – including Lane County Public Health, the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon and PeaceHealth – to develop plans for a safe, accessible and exciting event.

Additionally, taking into consideration the context of COVID-19, we are offering the option to sign up for a virtual race experience that will include top-notch virtual race technology, a live-streaming virtual expo, sponsor perks, and all the swag of a traditional Eugene Marathon sent in a custom race box straight to your front door. .

In the event that an in-person event cannot take place, all 2021 registrants will be transferred to the 2021 virtual event.

(09/30/2020) Views: 527 ⚡AMP
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Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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After more than two decades, John Capriotti is stepping down as leader of Nike’s track and field sports marketing group

“John is going into the consulting business,” said Steve Miller, a former Nike executive and the man who hired Capriotti at the company.

The fiery former track coach still worked for the sneaker giant as of Friday. But he is leaning toward a consulting deal that would make Nike one of his clients, according to a second source close to Capriotti.

News of the change had the track and field world buzzing on Friday.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” said a third source, a prominent sports agent. “He’s been in that position for the entire 21 years I’ve been around track and field. He’s been the single most influential person in the sport.”

Neither Capriotti nor Nike could immediately be reached for comment.

Capriotti’s decision comes as Nike is cutting costs and laying off employees. The company lost about $790 million last quarter.

Since Nike brought in John Donahoe as its new CEO and chairman in January, there has been speculation about the ramifications for the company’s sports marketing arm, and for its track and field operations in particular. Donahoe’s athletic background is unknown. But outsiders speculate that the longtime technology executive does not share the passion for track and field of his predecessors Phil Knight and Mark Parker.

Under Capriotti’s watch, Nike solidified its position as the sport’s superpower. It hired more track athletes to endorsement contracts than any other sponsor. It also bankrolled USA Track & Field, the sport’s governing body in this country, signing a sponsorship in 2014 worth more than $400 million.

Nike sponsored three different teams of elite runners, all of them based in Oregon. Its audacious goal was to make American runners once again competitive with the rest of the world.

Capriotti and Nike also helped secure Eugene’s position as one of the world capitals of the sport. He was such a fixture at Hayward Field that his customary spot in the grandstands became known as Cap’s Corner.

The stunning decision to award the 2021 track and field world championships to Eugene came in part because of the enthusiastic support of Knight and Nike. The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the running of those championships in Eugene until 2022.

There was also plenty of controversy. Alberto Salazar was Nike’s superstar coach for the Nike Oregon Project. But Salazar was dogged for years by allegations that he encouraged his athletes to use banned substances. He was banned from the sport for four years “for orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct.”

Nike sided with Salazar and continued to back him even after the ban, which Salazar is appealing.

(09/19/2020) Views: 381 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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ALMOST READY TO WELCOME YOU BACK!

Track and Field fans in Eugene and around the world,

I write to you today during one of the most unprecedented times in our history. I have found myself in deep reflection on how we can come together as a nation to love and support each other. Through all of this unrest, we have hope in the future and the opportunities that will inevitably come.

I've been so impressed with our student-athletes and how they have responded to adversity over the last few months. From adjusting to a new virtual academic environment and social distancing to using their voices to speak out on social injustices, I have been very proud.

The past few months have been challenging to say the least, and our attention and thoughts have been pulled in so many directions lately, but I did want to provide a bit of an update on Hayward Field.

It is almost ready to welcome you back!

The flags of 156 nations found their place next to the stadium representing every country that had a senior-level athlete compete at Historic Hayward Field between 1921 and 2018. Also, responsibility for the stadium has been handed over from the construction team to the University of Oregon and the UO Track and Field team.

But before we can open the gates to you, we've got a couple of hurdles to clear.

First things first. Our athletes deserve to have their 'Christmas morning' moment before everyone else gets to see how magnificent their training areas and team facilities are. After all, the team has been without a home for two years, and at this point, a majority of the athletes have never experienced the Hayward Magic competing as a Duck. My staff and I are truly looking forward to the team opening this incredible gift when they arrive on campus in September.

As you've probably seen through social media, we've been able to reveal and share the public spaces inside the bowl of the stadium. Still, there are areas we want to reserve for our athletes when we finally get to welcome them back to Hayward Field.

Last week, we were able to have a special Hayward moment with Ashton and Brianne along with their son Ander and Ashton's mom, Roz. It was a chance to have a smaller group together and celebrate what they have meant to this program. We hope to create similar moments with other Oregon Track and Field icons.

We also eagerly await the time when Governor Brown and state health officials are able to relax restrictions on large gatherings, which are currently in place through September. If circumstances allow for opening the stadium to you in the fall, rest assured, we will do so but we have to make sure it is a safe and healthy experience for everyone.

In the meantime, there will still be lots of construction activity going on and the construction fencing will remain in place. Punch lists will be completed and equipment will be moved in.

I encourage you to follow our social media channels and regularly check in on the Hayward Field page on the University's website. We will do our best to keep you updated of any new developments over the course of the summer and, ultimately, our plans for welcoming you all to Hayward Field.

Thank you, Hayward faithful. Can't wait to see you!

(07/06/2020) Views: 414 ⚡AMP
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Wanda Diamond League announces updates to 2020 calendar

The Wanda Diamond League today announced further alterations to its provisional 2020 calendar, with the cancellation of two meetings and a further event pushed back until September.

The Meeting de Paris, provisionally scheduled for 6 September, will not take place this season. Following the latest government announcements on the organisation of major events in France, meeting organisers concluded that there is not enough time to organise a world-class international event in the French capital this year.

Paris’s well-loved Wanda Diamond League meeting will return in August 2021, at a time when it is able once again to mobilise volunteers and welcome international stars.

In Eugene, the 2020 Prefontaine Classic has also been cancelled. The state of Oregon currently has a ban on large gatherings - including sporting events - and that restriction will be in place until at least the end of September. The ban, combined with the expected long term restrictions on international travel, make it impossible to host a world class track & field meet in front of the Hayward Field faithful on 4 October.

The Prefontaine Classic is to return in 2021 and provide the opportunity for the University of Oregon to properly introduce the new Hayward Field to track & field fans around the world.

Discussions are still ongoing in relation to the Muller Grand Prix Gateshead which is no longer scheduled for 16 August. 12 September has been identified as a possible alternative date, however final confirmation cannot be given at this time due to UK Government guidelines and restrictions.

Due to the ongoing global health situation and ever-changing regulations, the 2020 Wanda Diamond League calendar remains provisional and subject to further changes.

The meeting organisers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to staging competitions athletes can compete in and fans can enjoy as far as the global pandemic allows.

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League will not be a structured series of events leading to a final as is usually the case. Athletes will therefore not earn Diamond League points this season, and there will not be a single, 24-discipline final in Zurich as originally planned.

Click here for the latest version of the 2020 calendar.

(06/27/2020) Views: 320 ⚡AMP
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With Hayward Field’s reconstruction complete, the University of Oregon takes possession

The University of Oregon took formal possession of Hayward Field on Tuesday, bringing to an end a two-year reconstruction project that transformed the well-loved if antiquated UO stadium into one said to be among the best track and field facilities in the world.

Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the University of Oregon Foundation confirmed the Tuesday handover in a text message on Wednesday.

The campus property that houses the stadium had been leased to the limited liability corporation Hayward Field Enhancement for the length of the privately funded project. The project began in June 2018 and is estimated to have cost more than $200 million.

Weinhold said by text he knew of no immediate plans for a public unveiling of the new Hayward Field, and didn’t anticipate one until fall. The campus remains closed to the general public because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That decision will be a UO Athletics decision,” Weinhold wrote.

Replying Monday by email, UO athletic department spokesman Zach Lawson referred a reporter to the university’s “Hayward Field Renovation” webpage, last updated for the week of June 1.

The original Hayward Field was built as a football stadium in 1919. It has been used for track meets since 1921. It was conceded to be inadequate for many reasons to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, awarded to Eugene in 2015. The meet since has been delayed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers originally had hoped to preserve as much of the historic stadium’s character as possible, including the east grandstand.

But attempts to raise private money for that design foundered. When Nike co-founder Phil Knight, a former UO track athlete, became involved, the original plans were scrapped in favor of a more modern look.

That led to a contentious back and forth between some longtime fans in the community. Hoffman Construction, the firm that handled the project, acted quickly to level the east grandstand less than two weeks after the conclusion of the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the final major event staged at the old Hayward Field.

The permanent seating of the new stadium is listed as 12,650 and expandable to nearly,25.000, making it significantly larger than the previous stadium. The older Hayward Field had a listed seating capacity of 10,500. But a hand count done in 2018 revealed no more than 8,500 seats.

Knight and his wife, Penny, are said to have contributed the lion’s share of the project’s funding.

The new stadium is said to feature a number of spectator upgrades, such as 22-inch seats and unobstructed sight lines.

It also will be used as a training facility for members of the UO track team. Among the enhancements are much larger indoor practice areas, locker rooms, a video room, weight room, treatment rooms, a theater and an area for training aids such as hydrotherapy pools and anti-gravity machines.

Attempts Wednesday to reach UO track coach Robert Johnson and Jimmy Stanton, UO senior associate athletic director for communications, were not immediately successful.

(06/21/2020) Views: 424 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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The world’s fastest woman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce not ready to retire yet

Like wine, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce gets better, and faster, by the year.

The world’s fastest woman isn’t dismissing the possibility of featuring at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene just yet.

The Jamaican, a mother of one, will be 35 then.

Speaking exclusively with NTV in an interview scheduled to air last night, the nine-time world champion confessed her love for Kenyan athletes. Especially multiple steeplechase world champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, and track queen Vivian Cheruiyot, who has since graduated to the marathon.

Fraser-Pryce would love to end her career “closer home” when Eugene, in the state of Oregon, hosts the global competition in July at a new Hayward Field stadium.

The meet was initially scheduled for next year but was pushed back by a year to give way for the Tokyo Olympic Games that were also postponed by a year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It would be nice to finish (my career) so close to home where my friends who’ve always found it difficult to travel far can visit… no one thought it would be possible for me to come back from a C-section and win a championship at 32 years old, but I did, so you never know,” she told me on NTV Sport.

“I was very disappointed by the Olympics’ postponement. It’s like a timeline for me to achieve these things… I have a family now that needs me to take precautions so it was a bummer but there are lives at stake and that’s most important,” Fraser-Pryce added.

The 2020 Olympics would have possibly capped off a remarkable 10 months for the “pocket rocket”, who stormed the history books in Doha last year when she won the 100 metres final in a season best time of 10.71 seconds, to become the only athlete to scoop four 100m world championship gold medals.

The achievement was overshadowed by the fact that Fraser-Pryce did it as a new mother.

“I didn’t sleep at all the night before my final in Doha,” she confesses. “I was so anxious because my last championship had been three years before that.”

She skipped the London 2017 championships to have a baby.

Fraser-Pryce counts the 2019 win and her maiden 100m gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as her most memorable victories.

Her latest win in Qatar saw the introduction of her son Zyon to the world, as the Jamaican proudly ran her victory lap with the two-year-old boy in her arms.

“When I first found out I was pregnant I was so skeptical, but I want to show women that having a baby doesn’t have to end your career,” the sprinter says with conviction.

(06/01/2020) Views: 279 ⚡AMP
by Idah Waringa
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New dates are set for the 2020 US Olympic Trials

 New dates for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Track & Field are set, USATF announced today. The event will take place June 18–27, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed due to the novel coronavirus, thereby necessitating the postponement of the corresponding Olympic Trials. USATF worked closely with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and TrackTown USA to secure the new dates. 

The competition schedule will remain much the same. While there is a possibility that some of the timings of the competition windows may shift, the events taking place on each day will not change.

The schedule of events can be found here. Existing ticket customers will have their tickets automatically rolled over to the new dates in 2021. Customers who wish to request a refund will be able to do so at TrackTown20.com beginning on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Ticketing policies and procedures for refund requests will also be available at TrackTown20.com on that day. This refund process will remain open for 90 days. The Olympic Trials will be contested in a new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field will be presented across NBC Sports’ numerous platforms. Broadcast information will be released later.

(04/24/2020) Views: 482 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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After coronavirus forces postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share their sorrow

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Pete Julian coaches a Nike-sponsored, Portland-based team of elite distance runners who have been gearing up for the Olympics.

Julian’s group includes, among others, U.S. mid-distance stars Donavan Brazier, the 2019 world outdoor champion in the 800 meters, and Craig Engels, German star Konstanze Klosterhalfen and former University of Oregon runner Jessica Hull of Australia.

“I don’t think any of them are happy about the Olympics getting moved,” Julian said. “I think a lot of them feel they’re ready to go and believe they can win medals. They’re sort of kicking the post. They want to race.”

But Julian agrees with the decision to postpone. His message to his runners is they can be better in 2021 than they are now. He believes the Olympics can be too.

“I think Tokyo is one of the few cities in the world that could pull this off without a hitch,” he said. “I don’t think most of us can even imagine the logistical nightmare that this is going to create, and what the IOC and Tokyo will have to work through. But they will be able to do it, and it will be amazing.”

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

“Postponing it a year and having the Olympics as that light at the end of the tunnel is going to be a very positive thing to look forward to,” Jager said. “We can come out of this crisis a year from now, and hopefully be healthy. The Olympics can be a celebration of getting out of these dark times.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

“The health, safety and well-being of the global population are of the utmost importance and beyond any sporting event,” Rupp said. “Already so many people have gotten sick or died and so many more have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus. We need to listen to the advice of health experts.”

Even if that means going dark in 2020 and waiting a year so the coronavirus can be contained.

Gardner, the former UO sprinter who lives in New Jersey, said training has become difficult because of quarantine containment regulations. She joked she has to get creative to do track workouts because of padlocked facilities.

“I’ve been hopping a lot of fences,” she said. “I’ve been working on my long jump and high jump approaches.”

But turning serious, she said she endorsed the quarantines and social-distancing rules as a way to keep vulnerable family members safe. She said the Olympic postponement would protect athletes and fans.

“I was mostly concerned that we would calm the virus down, we all would go to Tokyo and spur it back up again,” Gardner said.

She said it could hit athlete housing in Tokyo the way an outbreak of the norovirus struck at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships in London.

“We share common eating rooms,” she said. “We all share the same tracks, the same weight rooms, the same hotels. It would just be a matter of time before it spurred back up again.“

(03/29/2020) Views: 371 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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After postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share sorrow, perspective

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

(03/27/2020) Views: 607 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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The Prefontaine Classic has suspended ticket sales for the invitational track meet scheduled for June 6-7

The Prefontaine Classic has suspended ticket sales for the invitational track meet scheduled for June 6-7 at Hayward Field in Eugene because of uncertainty about the spread of the coronavirus.

Tickets were to go on sale Friday at the University of Oregon ticket office.

“We made the decision about 11 a.m. today,” said Pre Classic meet director Tom Jordan replying Thursday by text message. “There are so many unknowns at present we thought it best to delay the sale until the situation is clarified.”

The spread of the coronavirus has rocked the sports world, forcing cancellation of NCAA championships events, including the NCAA basketball tournaments and indoor track championships.

Professional leagues, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have suspended their seasons. The University of Oregon is moving classroom instruction online. The Pac-12 has suspended athletic competition until further notice.

The Pre Classic is part of the Diamond League, a series of world-class meets featuring Olympic level athletes.

It is scheduled to be held this year at Hayward Field, which is the final stages of a complete reconstruction.

(03/14/2020) Views: 502 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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World Athletics pleased with Oregon21 planning and preparations as five-day venue visit concludes

World Athletics officials have praised the planning and preparations for the World Athletics Championships Oregon21, after a busy week of meetings and venue visits in both Portland and Eugene, Oregon this week.

During the visit, delegates toured the under-construction Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, visited local Eugene hotels, and attended numerous working meetings covering accommodation, broadcast requirements, press operations, event presentation and operations, security and ticketing.

The visiting delegation, comprised of both technical and broadcast experts, had a full agenda, beginning with two days in Portland as they considered course options for the championship marathons and race walks that they will now take to the next World Athletics Council meeting in Nanjing, China, for approval in March. They also met with Travel Oregon, a key stakeholder and driving force behind state-wide involvement in the event, and its wider promotion.

The World Athletics Championships Oregon21 will take place in both Eugene and Portland from 6-15 August 2021, with specific dates for the Portland events still to be determined. It is the first time the outdoor World Championships will be held on USA soil. The World Athletics Indoor Championships took place in Portland in 2016.

“This has been a packed few days but is important to ensure we are all on the same page in terms of expectations,” said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon. “The Local Organising Committee has a unique approach to resource planning, using the skills and expertise of Oregonians and local partners working alongside experienced international staff with major global event production experts.”

“This is the first time ever that our world championships will be held in a stadium purpose-built specifically for athletics, rather than a multi-purpose sports stadium, which has its own challenges in terms of space but will provide a strong legacy for the sport here in the USA. Our tour of the Hayward Field stadium this week was exciting and although still under construction we can all imagine a world class event in 2021. Athletics fans the world over really have something to look forward to.”

Oregon21 CEO Niels de Vos added: “This has been an excellent visit in which we were able to share detailed plans with our counterparts from World Athletics. We are delighted to have secured World Athletics’ endorsement for those plans and will now double down on ensuring that we deliver against them.”

In addition to all the meetings, one presentation that met with great interest was the unveiling of the logo for the World Athletics Championships Oregon21, which takes great advantage of the in-fill opportunity offered by the new World Athletics branding scheme. The Oregon21 logo features artwork from Portland-based artist Blaine Fontana, and depicts a wide range of Oregon iconography. Fontana’s original artwork will become a mural on the side of a building at a location still to be determined in Eugene.

All in all, the week was deemed a great success, with everyone now looking forward to the next site visit, scheduled for June to coincide with the USA Olympic Trials.

(01/18/2020) Views: 940 ⚡AMP
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Your guide to this year's Prefontaine Classic

The Prefontaine Classic relocated, temporarily, and it brought the best fields of the Diamond League season with it to Stanford, California on Sunday June 30.

That includes the world’s fastest man and woman this year (Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson), the athlete who has made the most worldwide headlines this season (Caster Semenya) and a bevy of other reigning Olympic and world champions.

Notably, Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will compete for the first time since 2017. World 100m champions Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie are in their first Diamond League meets in more than one year. It’s the first Diamond League in two years for 2008 Olympic 400m champ LaShawn Merritt. It’s also the first race of 2019 for Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Pacific.

The Pre Classic has been held annually since 1975 in Eugene, Ore. But Hayward Field’s reconstruction ahead of the 2020 Olympic Trials forced a move to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Here are the Pre Classic entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Pacific):

Here are 10 events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:43 p.m.The Big Three of the event meet for the first time this season: 2012 Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2017 World champion Sam Kendricksand 2018 and 2019 world leader Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, who just turned pro after his freshman year at LSU. Lavillenie has competed just once this season due to injury. Duplantis was beaten at NCAAs by Chris Nilsen (also in the Pre field). But Kendricks has been hot, winning the first three Diamond League pole vaults this season (though Lavillenie and Nilsen weren’t in any of those fields and Duplantis just one).

Women’s High Jump — 1:08 p.m.U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham takes another crack at Russian Mariya Lasitskene, who has just two losses in the last three years. Cunningham is 0-7 versus Lasitskene but has this spring already bettered her top clearance of 2018. Lasitskene, though, appears in top form after taking three attempts at a world record 2.10 meters in Ostrava last week.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:11 p.m.Six of the eight fastest in history, headlined by world gold and silver medalists Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs. The only time either Coburn or Frerichs won a steeple that included any of the four fastest Kenyans in history was at those 2017 Worlds. Another chance Sunday.

Women’s 100m — 1:27 p.m.NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson would have been the favorite here in her pro debut if not for what happened Friday. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100m champion, clocked her fastest time in six years (10.73 seconds) to become the fastest mom in history and No. 2 in the world this year behind Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson. Also watch reigning world champ Tori Bowie, who is coming back from a quad tear and coaching change.

Women’s 800m — 1:47 p.m.Caster Semenya races her trademark event for the first time since a Swiss Supreme Court ruled her eligible while it deliberates on her appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold an IAAF rule capping testosterone in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. The Swiss court ruling applies only to Semenya and not the other Rio Olympic medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who are also affected by the new rule. So Semenya’s closest threat at Pre is American record holder Ajeé Wilson, but Semenya has won 30 straight 800m races dating to 2015.

Men’s Shot Put — 2:01 p.m.Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had a sterling record at Hayward Field, taking NCAA, Pre Classic and Olympic Trials titles. He’s pretty strong in California, too, recording his personal best (22.74 meters) in Long Beach in April. Nobody has been within a foot and a half of that this season, but the last two world champions (New Zealand’s Tom Walsh and American Joe Kovacs) will try to snap his undefeated 2019 on Sunday.

Men’s 400m — 2:19 p.m.Lost some sizzle with the withdrawal of 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, who has missed time with Graves’ disease and, more recently, his mother’s death. Instead, the three fastest Americans of the last decade line up — 2018 and 2019 world leader Michael Norman (43.45 from April 20), 2017 world No. 2 Fred Kerley and 2008 Olympic championLaShawn Merritt.

Women’s 200m — 2:25 p.m.Strongest sprint field of the meet: 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2015 and 2017 World champion Dafne Schippers and 2018 world leader Dina Asher-Smith. Should produce the fastest time in the world this year, which is currently 22.16, and the favorite for world champs.

Men’s 100m — 2:39 p.m.Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman go head-to-head for the first time since the 2017 Worlds, where Gatlin took gold, Usain Bolt silver and Coleman bronze. Coleman is the world’s fastest man this Olympic cycle (9.79) and this year (9.85). Gatlin, 37, hasn’t broken 10 seconds since beating Bolt but has a bye to defend his title in Doha in September.

Men’s Mile — 2:51 p.m.Olympic 1500m champ Matthew Centrowitz races on the track for the first time since July 22, eyeing his first win in the Pre mile in his sixth try. The foes are formidable, including the top two milers since Rio — Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi — Norwegian brothers Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who on March 3 broke the 22-year-old indoor mile world record. Nobody has been within four seconds of the outdoor mile word record (Hicham El Guerrouj‘s 3:43.13 in 1999) since 2007.

(06/29/2019) Views: 1,194 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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The Eugene Marathon is changing courses for 2019, with a new finish line and a new stadium experience

Now the marathon and half-marathon will start just outside Autzen Stadium on Leo Harris Parkway, and end inside the stadium with the finish at the 50-yard line.

With race organizers unveiling necessary changes to its long-established course because of the renovation of Hayward Field, which had been the location of the start and finish line.

“Once Hayward was gone, our dream course was Autzen,” race director Richard Maher said. “We didn’t want it anywhere else.”

Of course, moving the start and finish to the other side of the Willamette River forced some reshaping of the 26.2-mile marathon course and the 13.1-mile half-marathon course.

The race will now go from Autzen to the Ferry Street Bridge, crossing in the northbound lanes into downtown where it will weave from Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue before heading south on Willamette Street to 13th Avenue and east to Agate Street where it will pick up its former pattern to south Eugene and back.

The early portion of the race through downtown is a highlight for race organizers, who envision sidewalks lined with spectators on race morning. It also means closing down some streets typically busy with traffic, though maybe not so much on an early Sunday morning.

“A marathon is going to be disruptive to a community; hopefully it’s a good disruption,” assistant race director Ian Dobson said. “When you look at that course, it’s really designed with two things in mind: It’s going to be cool for runners and also, it doesn’t land lock big chunks of the community.

“We have to get from the north side of the river to the south side of town and back. There’s only so many places you can cross and there’s only so many places that can handle the volume, especially at the beginning.”

The racers will return to the north side by crossing the Autzen Footbridge, with the half-marathoners heading back to the stadium and the marathoners completing the second half of the race on the bike path, though the course no longer goes into Springfield.

Runners will enter Autzen Stadium on the east side, go down the tunnel through the end zone and finish at midfield.

The Finish Line Festival, previously held on the turf fields behind Hayward Field, will be on the south concourse of Autzen.

Maher said despite the changes, the course will still maintain its reputation as being flat, fast and the perfect race for those trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

(03/07/2019) Views: 1,101 ⚡AMP
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Eugene Marathon

Eugene Marathon

Consistently ranked in the top 15 races most likely to qualify for Boston by Marathon Guide, the Eugene Marathon is a beautiful, fast, USATF certified race with amazing amenities and an unrivaled finishinside Historic Hayward Field. The Eugene Half Marathon starts alongside full marathon participants in front of historic Hayward Field home of five Olympic trials, ten NCAA championships and...

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Will The 2019 Prefontaine Classic be moved to Stanford?

The Prefontaine Classic could be moving south. With its usual site, Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., undergoing a massive reconstruction project, the US’s only Diamond League meet is in need of a new venue for 2019. In track & field circles, one venue’s name has popped up more than any other: Stanford University’s Cobb Track & Angell Field.

Something certainly appears to be in the works between Stanford and Pre as the officials’ calendar for the USATF Pacific Association lists the Prefontaine Classic as one of its meets with Stanford listed in the “site” column. The date of the meet is Sunday, June 30, which is what the Diamond League lists on its official calendar. 

Pre Classic press chief Jeff Oliver wrote that, “The Prefontaine Classic does not have a statement on the location of the 2019 meet at this time.

We are hopeful to make an official announcement later this month.”In addition to the annual Stanford and Payton Jordan Invitationals, Cobb Track & Angell Field hosted the USATF Outdoor Championships in 2002 and 2003."

According to Stanford’s website, it has a permanent capacity of 1,772, which would make it by far the smallest stadium to host a Diamond League (no other venue has fewer than 12,000 permanent seats; Stanford would presumably add temporary seating should it host the meet).

(01/05/2019) Views: 926 ⚡AMP
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The Eugene Marathon is changing it´s course for 2019

The Eugene Marathon is changing course for 2019, with a new route, a new finish line and a new stadium experience. Registration opened Wednesday for the 13th annual race scheduled for Sunday, April 28, 2019 with race organizers unveiling necessary changes to its long-established course because of the renovation of Hayward Field, which had been the location of the start and finish line. Now the marathon and half-marathon will start just outside Autzen Stadium on Leo Harris Parkway, and end inside the stadium with the finish at the 50-yard line. “Once Hayward was gone, our dream course was Autzen,” race director Richard Maher said. “We didn’t want it anywhere else.” Of course, moving the start and finish to the other side of the Willamette River forced some reshaping of the 26.2-mile marathon course and the 13.1-mile half-marathon course. The race will now go from Autzen to the Ferry Street Bridge, crossing in the northbound lanes into downtown where it will weave from Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue before heading south on Willamette Street to 13th Avenue and east to Agate Street where it will pick up its former pattern to south Eugene and back. The early portion of the race through downtown is a highlight for race organizers, who envision sidewalks lined with spectators on race morning. It also means closing down some streets typically busy with traffic, though maybe not so much on an early Sunday morning. “A marathon is going to be disruptive to a community; hopefully it’s a good disruption,” assistant race director Ian Dobson said. “When you look at that course, it’s really designed with two things in mind: It’s going to be cool for runners and also, it doesn’t land lock big chunks of the community. (08/16/2018) Views: 1,006 ⚡AMP
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USA Track & Field is expected to name the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials

USA Track & Field is expected to name the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials, according to a source with direct knowledge of the decision. The announcement is expected soon, perhaps as early as Thursday. The source was not authorized to discuss the decision and requested anonymity. Calls to TrackTown USA, the Eugene local organizing committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee were referred to USA Track & Field. USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer declined comment. Eugene has staged the Olympic trials six previous times, including in 2008, 2012 and 2016. This would be the first major meet at the reconstructed Hayward Field. The stadium has been torn down and will be rebuilt. The project is expected to be completed in April 2020. (08/02/2018) Views: 1,162 ⚡AMP
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The Pre Classic will never be the same as they rip down the stadium in Eugene Oregon

This is not right. We can thank Phil Knight for putting up millions of dollars to make this happen.  Peter Thompson posted this photo on Facebook about an hour ago. 

He said," Is this the required careful deconstruction of an historic structure, carefully cataloguing everything as you go and ensuring that timbers and metalwork can be re-purposed elsewhere?" Or, is it, "The wilful destruction of an iconic building?"

Lots of history had been torn away. Phil Knight made millions by using Pre in NIKE advertising.  In his memory he could have built "his" new Track someplace else, as Joe Henderson pointed out months ago, in Eugene and left this stadium standing or at least the track and the east grandstands.  

I know that Phil Knight has donated millions to the University and probably to the city and how could anyone stand in his way.

I also know that Phil Knight and NIKE have done a lot of positive things for running but this is not one of them. 

Peter continued, "Bill Bowerman's favorite seat in the upper row of the East Grandstand has been ripped out, undocumented as it was piled with all the other bleachers - and this is the true respect that Phil Knight has granted to Bill Bowerman." 

I know the new track is going to look amazing but it will no longer be Pre's track.  The Pre Classic will never be the same.  This was a mistake that we let happen.  Hayward Field will never be the same.            

(06/23/2018) Views: 3,918 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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America’s Best Distance Runner Galen Rupp is misunderstood by many other runners

Writing for Outside, Martin Fritz Huber ponders the lack of warmth some in the running community feel for two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp. Here is Huber's piece, which begins this way: "He's the best American runner in generation. Too bad nobody likes him." I have trouble right away with the premise because, ahem, I like him. Huber suggests Rupp's relative lack of popularity within the running community stems from media inaccessibility, a deficit of charisma and for being part of the Nike Oregon Project, which some believe pushes the boundaries of the rules.  The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, for instance, has had the Oregon Project and coach Alberto Salazar under investigation for at least three years without uncovering enough evidence to make a case. Huber cites a LetsRun.com piece which consulted six experts, including Kara Goucher, Danny Mackey, Steve Magness and three coaches who chose not to be identified, about several topics leading into the Boston Marathon. Only one was quoted as being willing to root for Rupp in the race. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, asking Goucher, Mackey and Magness whether they would root for Rupp or the Oregon Project is like asking three Fenway Park season ticket-holders if they will root for the Yankees. I don't have trouble getting interviews with Rupp, perhaps because I haven't jumped to conclusions about the circumstantial and anecdotal allegations made against him and Salazar.  I find Rupp, who starred at Central Catholic and the University of Oregon, to be very smart, very focused, very competitive, very religious, a little shy, and not all that interested in seeing his name in headlines.  And, let's face it, he and Salazar have been used as punching bags, both in the British tabloid press and on the LetsRun message boards, where anybody with an uninformed opinion and/or an axe to grind can hide behind a pseudonym and bash away. Rupp can be warm when he doesn't feel threatened, and remains exceedingly popular at Hayward Field, where he starred as a Duck and has run regularly since turning pro. (Editor note: the stories we post here about Galen are the most popular.)  (05/19/2018) Views: 1,569 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe/ Oregon Live
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I am skipping the biggest meets that remain at Hayward Field, just too sad to go back to this doomed place

Full destruction of Hayward Field is guaranteed, now that the City Council has refused to consider a last-ditch attempt at historic status designation. I’m already distancing myself from the place, skipping the biggest meets that remain, Pre and NCAA.

This isn’t a call to boycott. It’s just too sad for me to go back to this doomed place. There are many happier places in Eugene...Coverage of the total teardown and replacement has overlooked the neighbors.

This might be the right change, but it's in the wrong place. Hayward Field outgrew its location by at least 1972 (the first year I visited there for the Trials). On-street parking was scarce then and has become more so.

The neighborhood has grown ever more crowded, from new construction on and near campus. Neighbors range from barely tolerant of the big events to wishing them away.

Hayward sits amid property owned by UO Physical Education and Recreation — four turf fields and the Rec track. These are heavily used, up to 18 hours a day. I’ve taught a running class there since 2001, and we typically get evicted whenever a big track meet comes to Hayward.

The effect of construction will be devastating on all student uses of these fields and track, and some of that space will never be replaced because there’s no spare room. The end of Hayward would have been the perfect time to locate the new stadium anywhere but here, anywhere with surrounding space.

The old track, minus the stands other than a smaller replica of the East, could have become Hayward Heritage Park — open to students and the public alike. Now it’s too late. Sad that the suggestions of nearest neighbors seemingly never were solicited. 

(Editor's note: Joe Henderson was the editor of Runner's World in the early years and continued to write for the magazine for many years.  He has written many books and is currently coaching his team in Eugene.)

(05/10/2018) Views: 2,306 ⚡AMP
by Joe Henderson
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Tracktown USA hopes to be selected to host the USATF 2020 Olympic Trails

The University of Oregon says work will begin in June on a renovation of Hayward Field, to be completed in 2020. The plans include a 165-foot, 9-story tower named in honor of Bill Bowerman, the coach who brought Steve Prefontaine to campus and helped Phil Knight launch Nike. The work will be funded by Penny and Phil Knight and more than 50 other donors.  Tracktown USA made it clear Wednesday that they'll be making a bid to bring the 2020 Olympic Trials back to Hayward Field. USATF pulled its original bid from Mount SAC in California, due to concerns over the stadium construction.  Construction on the new Hayward Field will start this summer.  Tracktown USA CEO Michael Reilly says the new-look Hayward Field will be completed in plenty of time to host the 2020 Trials. "We understand everything is going to be ready to go for an entire Track and Field season in 2020," said Reilly. "I can't think of a better way to welcome America's top athletes than to bring them to a new Hayward Field."      (05/04/2018) Views: 1,449 ⚡AMP
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Kate Landau win's Eugene Marathon after being forced to drop out of Boston

Two weeks after hypothermia forced her to drop out of the Boston Marathon, Tacoma's Kate Landau added another big win to her resume. Landau, 41, won the Eugene Marathon on Sunday morning in a personal-best time of 2 hours, 35 minutes, 44 seconds. Her time was the second best for a woman in the 12-year history of the event.  She beat the second-place woman (Becki Spellman of Ohio) by more than six minutes. Only six of the more than 800 male runners were faster than Landau. Landau's time earned the top qualifying standard for the 2020 Olympic Trials in Atlanta.  Eugene's historic Hayward Field seemed like a fitting place for Landau to accomplish this goal. It was there in 1996, that she finished second in the 10,000-meter race and sixth in the 5,000 at the NCAA championships while running for Georgetown. She went on to compete at the trials for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  (04/30/2018) Views: 1,694 ⚡AMP
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My brother presence electrified Hayward Field in a way that had never been done before, we can't tear down history

My name is Linda Prefontaine. Steve Prefontaine is my brother. I understand there is a City Council meeting on the 23rd and I’m hoping my letter can be read at that time in support of saving the history of Hayward Field. I moved to Eugene in 1973 to continue my education at the University of Oregon. When I moved to Eugene it was a nice, small college town. The atmosphere was laid back and the pace was pleasant. I thought I would live there until I died. Over the years the town has changed in many ways. Some of the changes were necessary because of the economy’s dependence on wood products that the town needed to move away from. Real growth and expansion of the business sector is very evident today. Another fact about the early days of Eugene is that my brother made Hayward Field come to life. His presence electrified Hayward Field in a way that had never been done before. People from all over the world came to Eugene to watch him compete. Today people from all over the world still come to Eugene to walk on the historic track at Hayward Field. They do because Steve Prefontaine ran on that track. They come because there is a history there that is magical and cannot be replaced or duplicated. When I attend track meets at HF I can still feel his presence. If Hayward Field is demolished along with the east grandstands I don’t think as many people will be drawn to come to Eugene and Hayward Field. Why would they? The history of Hayward Field will be taken away for ever. I probably won’t be attending as many meets there. It won’t be the same. I moved away from Eugene last fall, back to Coos Bay. I no longer like what Eugene has become and do not want to live in the atmosphere and the mindset of the city that exists today and what I fear it will become in the future. (04/21/2018) Views: 1,303 ⚡AMP
by Linda Prefontaine
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Don’t make plans just yet to attend the USATF 2020 Olympic Trials at Mt Sac

The USATF awarded the 2020 Olympic Trials in June of last year to Mt. SAC, located in suburban Los Angeles. The decision, made by USATF's board of directors in an 11-2 vote, came after Eugene had staged the trials successfully at Hayward Field in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Eugene and Sacramento both submitted bids for 2020. In theory, the trials could go to one site or the other if the Mt. SAC renovation gets tied up in court and falls too far behind schedule. The University of Oregon is expected to begin a complete razing and reconstruction of Hayward Field this summer to transform it into something UO Foundation president and CEO Paul Weinhold terms "spectacular." The new Hayward Field is expected to cost more than $200 million, Money for the project has been privately raised, much of it reportedly contributed by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. If the Hayward project begins this summer it is expected to be completed by April of 2020. That might be just in time. (This photo was taken during the women's Steeplechase at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene.) (04/10/2018) Views: 1,210 ⚡AMP
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Olympic Trials Trouble: Let's make Eugene the permanent Trials host site

Are the US 2020 Olympic Trials in Trouble? It's looking less likely all the time that Mt SAC will be hosting our next Oly Trials after multiple stop work orders have been issued. That being said, Eugene too is fighting stadium issues. Personally, I am not at all for the elimination of Hayward Field's historic elements. I am of the sensibility that I'd rather retain the heritage even if that means potentially losing the status of host site for the 2021 World Athletics Championships. Oregon track writer, Ken Goe, guesses that if the 2020 Olympic Trials were moved, it may be to either Sacramento or Drake...neither of which are ideal options. In my track nerd brain, I'd like to see Eugene ditch their big re-do and give the IAAF back their World Championships...and instead host the Trials. In fact, I'd like to see Eugene named as the meet's permanent Trials host site...period. (03/19/2018) Views: 1,130 ⚡AMP
by Mike Fanelli
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Nick Symmonds Next Marathon Will Be Eugene

Nick Symmonds posted this on twitter today. He has been a world class track runner and decided to run one marathon. That was his plan until he just missed breaking three hours in Honolulu. He wrote, "I will race the Eugene Marathon, finishing at one of my favorite places in the world, Hayward Field. My goal is to break 3 hours and, if successful, it will likely be the last race I ever run. I hope to see you all there for one last party!" (01/19/2018) Views: 998 ⚡AMP
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